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Collective knowledge of police provided reasonable suspicion for traffic stop

State v. Matthew M. Moskopf, 2013AP771-CR, District 2, 4/2/14; court of appeals decision (one judge; ineligible for publication); case activity

The police had collective knowledge of specific, articulable facts supporting a reasonable suspicion to stop Moskopf’s vehicle where two 911 calls to the police department dispatcher–one from a bartender, another from an off-duty cop–reported that a man had been trying to get back into a bar he had been kicked out of, was combative, and was wearing a gray shirt and jeans, and where another officer responding to the call reported he had almost been hit by a black Escalade heading north from the bar. A second officer located the Escalade north of the bar, noted its driver matched the description of the combative, ejected bar patron, and stopped the vehicle. (¶¶2-3).

¶9        …. Moskopf makes much of the fact that the dispatcher described him as “highly intoxicated” while the 911 callers had not used this phrase. This is of no moment. Reasonable suspicion is formed from articulable facts and the reasonable inferences from those facts. [State v.Waldner, 206 Wis. 2d [51,] 55-56[, 556 N.W.2d 681 (1996)]. Reasonable suspicion is based on the totality of the circumstances. See [State v.] Young, 212 Wis. 2d [417,] 424[, 569 N.W.2d 84 (Ct. App. 1997)]. Here, the dispatcher could reasonably infer from the reported facts—Moskopf had been kicked out of the bar, it was around 10:30 p.m., Moskopf was trying to get back into the bar, and Moskopf was combative with the bartender—that Moskopf was intoxicated. This information, combined with the report that the black Escalade almost hit DeWitt’s vehicle, supports reasonable suspicion that Moskopf was intoxicated.

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