An unpublished opinion of the North Carolina Court of Appeals does not constitute controlling legal authority. Citation is disfavored, but may be permitted in accordance with the provisions of Rule 30(e)(3) of the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Proced ure.

NO. COA05-418


Filed: 17 January 2006

IN RE: R.S.C.                        Alamance County
                                No. 03 J 254


    Appeal by juvenile from orders entered 22 July 2004 by Judge J. Kent Washburn in Alamance County District Court. Heard in the Court of Appeals 9 January 2006.

    Attorney General Roy Cooper, by Assistant Attorney General Newton G. Pritchett, Jr., for the State.

    Sofie W. Hosford for juvenile-appellant.

    CALABRIA, Judge.

    R.S.C. (“the juvenile”) appeals from a disposition and commitment order on the grounds that the trial court improperly denied his motion to dismiss, committed reversible error by committing him to detention pending appeal without making written findings required by statute, and abused its discretion in ordering a level three disposition. We affirm.     
    On 3 November 2003, the juvenile was adjudicated delinquent for misdemeanor breaking and entering and larceny. He was also adjudicated delinquent for possession of cocaine on 4 December 2003. The district court imposed a Level 2 disposition and placed the juvenile on probation for twelve months on 18 March 2004. As conditions of his probation, the juvenile was required to “remain on good behavior” and “not violate any laws.” See N.C. Gen. Stat.§ 7B-2510(a)(1), (2) (2004). However, in a delinquency petition dated 10 June 2004, the juvenile was charged with resisting, delaying, and obstructing a police officer in the performance of his official duties. See N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-223 (2004). Consequently, on 15 June 2004, the juvenile's court counselor filed a motion for review alleging he had violated the conditions of his probation by committing the offense.
    The district court held a hearing on the petition and motion for review on 22 July 2004. The State presented evidence showing that at approximately 2:45 a.m. on 30 April 2004, Burlington Police Officer Josh Jones (“Jones”) observed a car “r[u]n off the road to the left with all four wheels off the road” while making a right turn off of Chapel Hill Road onto Trail Two. Jones activated his blue lights to initiate a traffic stop. When the car sped away, he activated his siren. The car ran a stop sign and turned left onto Trail Eight. Jones pursued the car on Trail Eight across Mebane Street until it passed through a T-shaped intersection and into the yard of a residence on Malone Street. The car slowed down after striking some bushes, at which point the driver and three passengers exited the vehicle and ran, ignoring Jones's repeated commands to stop. The empty vehicle continued moving until it collided with the house. Jones chased the driver and apprehended him approximately 300 yards from the accident scene. The juvenile and the two other passengers, who fled in the opposite direction, were caught by another officer on Chapel Hill Road.
    The district court found that the juvenile resisted, delayed,and obstructed Jones by running from Jones as he pursued the recklessly driven car, as alleged in the juvenile petition and motion for review. Upon concluding that the juvenile had violated his probation and was delinquent in committing this offense, the court imposed a Level 3 disposition and ordered the juvenile committed to a youth development center. The juvenile appeals.
    In his first argument on appeal, the juvenile argues that the district court improperly denied his motion to dismiss because “[a]n individual may resist an illegal arrest[,]” and his flight from Jones was insufficient to show “that [he] resisted, delayed, and obstructed Jones in the discharge of lawful duties.” When reviewing a motion to dismiss, we view “the evidence in the light most favorable to the State, giving the State the benefit of all reasonable inferences.” State v. Morgan, 359 N.C. 131, 161, 604 S.E.2d 886, 904 (2004) (citations omitted). If we find “substantial evidence exists to support each essential element of the crime charged and that [the juvenile] was the perpetrator, it [was] proper for the trial court to [have denied] the motion.” Id. (citations omitted). “Substantial evidence is such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.” Pruitt v. Powers, 128 N.C. App. 586, 588, 495 S.E.2d 743, 747 (1998) (citations and quotations omitted).
    In the interest of his own safety, a police officer is entitled to briefly detain the passengers of a vehicle during a traffic stop. State v. Shearin, __ N.C. App. __, __, 612 S.E.2d 371, 378 (2005). “Although [the juvenile] had not been observedviolating any laws at the time of the stop, it is not unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution to detain a passenger when a vehicle has been stopped due to a traffic violation committed by the driver of the car.” State v. Brewington, __ N.C. App. __, __, 612 S.E.2d 648, 653 (2005) (citing Maryland v. Wilson, 519 U.S. 408, 415, 137 L. Ed. 2d 41, 48 (1997)). Moreover, an officer may undertake a brief investigatory stop of an individual if he has a reasonable suspicion, based upon objective facts, “that criminal activity may be afoot[.]” State v. Pearson, 348 N.C. 272, 275, 498 S.E.2d 599, 600 (1998). “Flight from a lawful investigatory stop may provide probable cause to arrest an individual” for resisting, delaying, or obstructing an officer's performance of his official duties, in violation of N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-223. State v. Swift, 105 N.C. App. 550, 554, 414 S.E.2d 65, 68 (1992) (citation omitted).
    Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the State, Jones had valid grounds to detain the juvenile pursuant to the traffic stop and to undertake a brief investigatory stop of the juvenile based on a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. Because Jones had valid grounds to detain the juvenile and substantial evidence showed the juvenile fled, the district court properly denied the juvenile's motion to dismiss the charges that he resisted, delayed, and obstructed Jones in the discharge of his lawful duties. Jones was on patrol alone in the middle of the night when he attempted to stop a recklessly driven car and was confronted with a driver willing to take extreme evasive action toavoid capture. The occupants' flight from the moving car interfered with Jones's pursuit of the car and driver, leaving three persons at large and unaccounted for in dangerous conditions. Rather than performing a routine traffic stop, Jones was forced to contend with four unknown suspects, including the juvenile, who fled from a blue light and siren, ran from a moving car, and ignored his commands to stop. These circumstances presented Jones with both legitimate safety concerns and a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. Accordingly, the trial court did not err in denying the juvenile's motion, and we reject this assignment of error.
    The juvenile next claims the trial court erred by imposing a Level Three disposition because the juvenile “did not have the four prior juvenile offenses required to qualify for a Level Three disposition upon an adjudication of delinquency for committing a minor offense[.]” Contrary to the juvenile's assertion, the relevant provisions of the Juvenile Code authorized the district court's entry of a Level Three disposition in response to the juvenile's probation violation. The juvenile was placed on probation as a condition of a Level Two disposition after his adjudication of delinquency for felonious possession of cocaine, a serious offense under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-2508(f) (2004). After adjudicating the juvenile's probation violation, the district court was permitted “to order a new disposition at the next higher level on the disposition chart in G.S. 7B-2508[,]” i.e., a Level Three disposition. N.C. Gen. Stat. 7B-2510(e) (2004). The juvenile alsoavers that the district court abused its discretion in imposing a Level Three disposition. Because the trial court's disposition was not “so arbitrary that it could not have been the result of a reasoned decision,” In re J.B., __ N.C. App. __, __, 616 S.E.2d 385, 387 (2005), we find no abuse of discretion.
    The juvenile next claims the district court erroneously denied him release on appeal under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-2605 (2004) without entering findings of fact to support the denial. Section 7B-2605 of the Juvenile Code provides as follows:
        Pending disposition of an appeal, the release of the juvenile, with or without conditions, should issue in every case unless the court orders otherwise. For compelling reasons which must be stated in writing, the court may enter a temporary order affecting the custody or placement of the juvenile as the court finds to be in the best interests of the juvenile or the State.

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-2605 (2004). Here, the court simply stated in its appellate entries that “[r]elease of the juvenile pursuant to G.S. 7B-2605 is denied” without the required findings to support its order. This is clearly insufficient under the requirements of N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-2605. However, this error did not prejudice the juvenile. The disposition order finding the juvenile violated his probation and ordering him to be held pending appeal was the same commitment he would have received. We hold the court's error was without prejudice. In re Lineberry, 154 N.C. App. 246, 256, 572 S.E.2d 229, 236 (2002). See In re Bullabough, 89 N.C. App. 171, 184, 365 S.E.2d 642, 649 (1988). We, therefore, reject this assignment of error.      The record on appeal contains additional assignments of error not addressed by the juvenile in his brief to this Court. Pursuant to N.C. R. App. P. 28(b)(6) (2005), we deem them abandoned.
    Judges WYNN and JACKSON concur.
    Report per Rule 30(e).

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