Here, we cannot conclude that Officer Cooper’s interaction with Woodson began as a consensual encounter. Woodson had been riding his bicycle in the parking lot of the gas station and was able to see the maroon car that he had just exited being pulled over by Officer Cooper’s colleague. Officer Cooper approached as Woodson got off the bicycle, pulled his car up immediately next to Woodson, and asked Woodson what he was doing. Officer Cooper testified that he would have pursued Woodson if Woodson fled instead of complying with the request for information. Officer Cooper handcuffed Woodson for officer safety purposes when Woodson became “loud” and “belligerent” in the absence of any apparent threat to Officer Cooper and before obtaining information about Woodson from his police computer. Under these circumstances, we cannot conclude that this was a consensual encounter.
We thus consider whether Officer Cooper’s stop of Woodson was a proper Terry stop. Woodson argues that Officer Cooper lacked the reasonable suspicion necessary to conduct a Terry stop. We agree.
Woodson was one of two individuals in a car parked at a gas station in a “hot zone” of drug activity, with a bicycle parked immediately next to the car. Officer Cooper testified that
he could not see what interaction, if any, was occurring within the car. Woodson got out of the car carrying a backpack, got on his bicycle, and began to ride it. The State characterizes this as Woodson riding “around in circles” (Appellee’s Br. 9), but on cross examination Officer Cooper agreed that Woodson was “kind of idly riding his bike” along 38th Street in front of a fast food restaurant attached to the gas station. (Tr. 12-13). At some point before Officer Cooper approached him, Woodson got off the bicycle, even as he was able to see another police officer pull over the maroon car he had just been sitting in.
Officer Cooper testified here that he could not see any transaction between Woodson and the driver of the maroon car and there had been no report of criminal activity to which Officer Cooper was responding. Woodson did not attempt to flee the scene and hide or dump contraband upon completing a transaction and seeing a police officer approach in a high-crime area. See Ross v. State, 844 N.E.2d 537, 541-42 (Ind. Ct. App. 2006). Nor did Officer Cooper testify that in his training and experience Woodson’s behavior was of a type frequently displayed by individuals dealing in pirated DVDs, drugs, or any other contraband. See Wilson v. State, 670 N.E.2d 27, 28-29 (Ind. Ct. App. 1996) (concluding there was reasonable suspicion to detain defendant where the arresting officer was in a high-crime and -drug area, was trained in the factors pointing to drug transactions, and observed conduct conforming to this pattern).
Only the fact that the area of Indianapolis in which Woodson was arrested was considered to be a “hot zone” gave Officer Cooper any kind of suspicion that drug-related or other illegal activity might be afoot. Cf. Crabtree, 762 N.E.2d at 246-47 (concluding there was reasonable suspicion where the defendant was in a high-crime area, it was 4:30 a.m., a noise complaint had been conveyed to police, and the defendant was found hiding behind a car when police arrived on scene). This is not enough to amount to reasonable suspicion, and we therefore cannot conclude under the totality of the circumstances that Officer Cooper’s Terry stop was appropriate under the Fourth Amendment.
BAKER, J., and DARDEN, J., concur.