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In re Cristian A.

Court of Special Appeals of Maryland

August 29, 2014

IN RE: CRISTIAN A

Page 1065

Appeal from the Circuit Court for Montgomery County. Gary E. Bair, Judge.

Submitted by: Brian L. Zavin (Paul B. DeWolfe, Public Defender on the brief) all of Baltimore, MD for Appellant.

Submitted by: Michelle W. Cole (Douglas F. Gansler, Attorney General on the brief) all of Baltimore, MD for Appellee.

Hotten, Nazarian, Eyler, James R. (Retired, Specially Assigned), JJ. Opinion by Nazarian, J.

OPINION

Page 1066

[219 Md.App. 59] Nazarian, J.

Cristian A.[1] appeals the decision of the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, sitting as a juvenile court, to deny his motion to dismiss. The State charged Cristian with multiple counts, including second-degree assault and resisting and interfering with arrest, after an altercation with a police officer. Cristian moved to dismiss the State's complaint as untimely, and the court denied the motion. Because an intake officer properly authorized the filing of a delinquency petition, and because the circuit court correctly found that Cristian has not proven that the State's delay in filing the complaint caused him actual prejudice, we affirm.

I. BACKGROUND

On October 26, 2012, shortly after Cristian's seventeenth birthday, his younger brother Ricardo was involved in a fight at a McDonald's in Silver Spring. Cristian was not implicated in the altercation and was not there when it occurred. Detective Jeffrey Bunge of the Montgomery County Police saw the fighting from the police station across the street. He witnessed Ricardo punching another individual and began to approach the scene.

The fight broke up as Detective Bunge arrived and the participants fled, including Ricardo. Detective Bunge and Officer Daniel Sassi found Ricardo approximately fifteen minutes later. They pursued him, and Detective Bunge eventually stopped him. Detective Bunge identified himself, drew his gun, and told Ricardo to get on the ground. Ricardo complied and as Detective Bunge began to put him in handcuffs, Cristian arrived at the scene. Cristian had heard that his brother was involved in a fight and had come looking for him. [219 Md.App. 60] Cristian ran toward Detective Bunge and Ricardo yelling, " That's my brother, that's my brother, leave him alone." Detective Bunge and Corporal Tony Galladora, who had come to assist the other officers, told Cristian to stop, but he continued to approach his brother and Detective Bunge. Corporal Galladora stopped Cristian and brought him to the ground. According to the testimony of Corporal Galladora and Officer Jeffrey Rea, Cristian got back up, assumed a fighting stance, and said, " What's up? What's up?" Officer Rea, who was standing behind Cristian, subdued him with a Taser and then arrested him.

The State filed a complaint (the " Complaint" ) with the Department of Juvenile Services (" DJS" ) on November 15, 2012, twenty days after Cristian's arrest on October 26.[2] A juvenile intake officer (the " Intake Officer" ) reviewed the Complaint that day and authorized the filing of a formal delinquency petition (the " Petition" ) without conducting an intake interview with Cristian. As luck would have it, Cristian was arrested for first-degree assault on that same day, November 15, 2012, in an unrelated incident (the " assault action" ), although these charges were nol prossed on January 11, 2013.

The Intake Officer determined in the delinquency action that Cristian's detention in the assault action would likely last beyond ...


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