By Robert Florida
The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled yesterday that a man who fled from police during an arrest while leaving his suitcase behind cannot legally object to officers searching his suitcase without a warrant.
The man, Curtis Gartrell, is charged with guns and drug offenses. Frank J. Ducoat, Director of the Essex County Prosecutor’s Appellate Section, who briefed and argued the case before the Court, said the office is pleased with the Supreme Court’s decision.
“The Court reaffirmed the longstanding principle that arrestees who flee police in a public place not only put the lives of law enforcement officers and citizens alike in danger, but also abandon for constitutional purposes their interest in any property they leave behind,” said Ducoat.
“The opinion is a step forward for standing jurisprudence in this State and assures that we can have our day in court to prove Mr. Gartrell guilty of the charged offenses.”