On February 26, 2001, Detective McSherry, Sergeant MC and Police Officer F., assigned to anticrime patrol in an unmarked Chevrolet Blazer and traveling northbound on Valentine Avenue in Bronx, were stopped at a red light at the intersection of Valentine Avenue and 184th Street, a high crime area. The Chevrolet Blazer was the first in line at the red light. Detective MS and Sergeant MC, both in plain clothes, sat in the front of the vehicle. Sergeant MC was the driver. Officer F., in uniform, was a passenger in the rear of the vehicle.
A New York Criminal Lawyer said that, while they were stopped, Detective MS observed three young males, one of whom was appellant, crossing the street in front of their vehicle. MS testified that as the trio passed in front of the Blazer, they looked inside. One of the three “did a double take” and all of them “appeared to become startled.” Although the three males stayed together, their pace quickened. When they reached the other side of the street, walking southbound on the sidewalk, appellant separated from the group and, “walking closer to the building than the other two” “made a gesture like he’s putting something down by the building, by a doorway in the building which would lead to an alley.” As the detective explained, “He made a motion with his hand which looked to me he was casting something away, putting something down.” Appellant then joined the other two young men, who were walking southbound on Valentine Avenue.
The police vehicle then made a U-turn and pulled up alongside the three boys. Detective MS and Officer F. rolled down their windows “to gauge their reaction.” Appellant “turned, looked at their car, looked right at MS,” “panicked” and “took off running southbound on Valentine.” The other two young men remained standing where they were.