WILKES-BARRE - City police had “reasonable suspicion” to stop and frisk Samuel Reyes while investigating a report last year that a woman was threatened, Luzerne County Judge Lesa Gelb ruled on Friday.
Reyes’ attorney, John Sobota, had claimed police illegally stopped, arrested and searched his client on May 29 in the area of Wood Street and Carey Avenue.
Police responded to a report that a woman received a threatening text message and was threatened by a Hispanic man dressed in all black clothing wielding a handgun.
Reyes, a Hispanic dressed in black, was encountered on Wood Street, about a block from where the woman resides. Reyes was ordered to place his hands on the police cruiser’s hood.
When he got several feet from the cruiser, Reyes fled, running through yards on Wood Street and Carey Avenue, police said. During the foot chase, police alleged Reyes reached into his pants and pulled out a black gun. He ran across Carey Avenue before he was caught by other officers arriving at the scene, according to the criminal complaint.
Police said in the complaint they recovered a loaded .45-caliber pistol near a fence in a yard through which Reyes had run. The firearm was reported stolen, police said.
Gelb said police had reasonable suspicion to stop and question Reyes based on clothing and gender descriptions as well as proximity to the woman’s residence. “There is no reason to suppress the gun that was (allegedly) abandoned in the unprovoked flight,” Gelb opined.
Reyes’ trial on charges of receiving stolen property, illegal possession of a firearm, firearms not to be carried without a license, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest is scheduled to begin March 11.
Police said Reyes has a prior criminal conviction that prohibits him from possessing and owning a firearm. He remains jailed at the county correctional facility for lack of $25,000 bail.