On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Atlantic County, 05-02-0391.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Before Judges Lintner and Parrillo.
Following a denial of his motion to suppress, defendant, Terry Hampton, pled guilty to third-degree unlawful possession of a handgun, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5b, as charged in Count I of Atlantic County Indictment No. 05-02-0391,*fn1 and third-degree possession of cocaine, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1), as charged in Atlantic County Indictment No. 05-01-0053.*fn2 He was sentenced to a three-year term on each charge concurrent with each other. Defendant appeals the denial of his motion to suppress. We affirm.
On October 21, 2004, Sergeant Edward Brady of the Atlantic City Police Department was dispatched to the Atlantic Palace Hotel in response to a complaint that two individuals were involved in a fight. When he arrived, an unidentified individual told him that there were men just fooling around. However, hotel security officer Jim Thomas advised Brady that when four males who had been in an earlier fight were asked to leave, they threatened to beat him up and then went to room 3006.*fn3
While Brady was talking to the security guard, Atlantic City Police Officers Rose, Schultz, Constable, and Corson arrived at the hotel. Accompanied by two security guards, Brady and the other officers took the elevator to the thirtieth floor. When the elevator door opened, Brady saw four males in front of the elevator waiting for it to arrive. Looking startled, two of the individuals started to run or walk rapidly away in the direction of room 3006. Brady yelled for them stop, to no avail, as two of the individuals proceeded down the hallway.
Two others complied and Officers Rose, Schulz, and Constable remained with them at the elevator.
Brady heard Corson yelling, "[t]hey are reaching out into their waistband." As Brady ran after one of the individuals, later identified as co-defendant Anthony Jones, he saw Jones reach toward his waistband. He tackled Jones. Meanwhile, Corson chased defendant, tackling him in the hallway. Although Brady did not see Corson actually tackle defendant, he was aware that Corson was on the ground with him. After tackling defendant, Corson recovered a fully cocked and loaded handgun from defendant, which he later showed to Brady. Brady also testified on cross-examination, after viewing the security videotape from the hallway camera, that it appeared as if one of the individuals was running and one individual was reaching into his waistband. Officer Rose confirmed that Corson yelled that "they" were reaching into their waistband.
On appeal, defendant raises the following points on appeal:
THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO SUPPRESS.
SHOULD THE DENIAL OF DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO SUPPRESS ON INDICTMENT NO. 05-02-0391 . . . BE REVERSED DEFENDANT'S PLEA ON INDICTMENT NO. 05-01-0053 . . . MUST BE VACATED OR, IN THE ALTERNATIVE, REMANDED ...