City of Mequon v. Monica Maureen Cooley, 2010AP2142, District 2, 2/23/11
Reasonable suspicion supported early-morning stop of car in otherwise empty parking lot.
¶7 We agree with the circuit court that Brandemuehl conducted a lawful Terry stop. Brandemuehl could point to specific and articulable facts (Cooley turning into the parking lot of a closed movie theatre early on New Year’s morning), combined with his rational inference that it is illogical for someone to park in the lot of a closed business at 2:20 a.m., to warrant a belief that criminal activity was afoot. It was reasonable for a law enforcement officer presented with these facts to conduct a Terry stop. Cooley may have had a valid reason for pulling into the movie theatre parking lot, but Brandemuehl was justified in “freezing” the situation for a short period of time to determine if criminal activity was occurring. As the circuit court properly denied Cooley’s motion challenging the legality of her stop and seizure, we affirm Cooley’s conviction.