Facts: Petitioner Tyler King was prosecuted for reckless driving on a motorcycle after being arrested and issued a criminal citation by a police officer outside of the officer’s territorial jurisdiction. King moved to dismiss the charge in Clark County District Court, arguing the officer arrested him outside his department’s boundaries without a valid interlocal agreement allowing him to do so. The district court upheld the arrest, ruling the officer had the authority to cite King under the emergency exception in RCW §10.93.070(2), involving “an immediate threat to human life or property.” King appealed his conviction, and the Superior Court for Clark County affirmed the judgment. The Supreme Court of Washington granted review of the Court of Appeals order denying review of the Superior Court’s decision.
Question(s): Was King’s arrest by an officer outside his territorial jurisdiction valid under the emergency exception of RCW §10.93.070(2)?
Did the officer’s opinion testimony improperly invade the province of the jury and constitute manifest constitutional error that was not harmless?
Conclusion: Justice Sanders’ opinion for the Court held that King’s actions did not present an “emergency involving an immediate threat to human life or property” within the meaning of RCW §10.93.070(2) authorizing police officers to act outside of their territorial jurisdictions. King did not nearly hit another car, run a red light, nor weave across traffic lanes. According to the officer’s testimony, he glared at the driver of a large truck, stood on his motorcycle foot pegs for about four seconds, and accelerated at a high speed past the truck, however the officer could not verify at what exact speed. The Court therefore reversed the Superior Court’s judgment and King’s conviction.
Petitioner: Tyler King
(Counsel: Mark W. Muenster)
Respondent: State of Washington
(Counsel: Arthur D. Curtis and John Peterson)
Other Parties: State (respondent) v. King (petitioner)
Argument: Tuesday, January 13, 2009 10:00am
[Source: TVW, http://tvw.org]
Audio: Washington Supreme Court
Decided: Thursday, October 15th, 2009
Opinion: 167 Wn.2d 324 (2009)
Court: Alexander4 Court (2008-2009)
Note: We post only slip opinion(s) as published at the time of the decision. Please consult Washington Reports printed volumes for the opinion(s) in their final form. Each opinion should appear next to the Justice who authored it.