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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Oct. 12, 1999)
Appeals Court ruling may
affect recent drug seizure
By Jake Bleed
Senior staff writer
A recent Nebraska Appeals Court
ruling could affect whether evidence
seized in a Lincoln drug arrest Sunday
can be used in court.
Last week the court disallowed
drugs police found in a man’s hip bag
because officers did not have probable
cause to search the bag.
Sunday’s drug arrest in Lincoln
could fall under this ruling because both
cases involved seizure of drugs from an
individual’s hip bag before the arrest. In
both cases, police said the individuals
consented to the search.
Martin Gardner, a University of
Nebraska law-professor, said the
search’s legality depended on the extent
of consent given.
“It’s a question of the scope of the
consent,” Gardner said. “If he didn’t
consent, they have got to have reason
able suspicion to look in the container.”
In Sunday’s search, police found a
metal container with methamphetam ine
in the suspect’s hip bag, Lincoln Police
Officer Katherine Finnell said.
Lancaster County Attorney Gary
Lacey said the two cases may not be
related and noted the man arrested
Sunday evening had yet to be arraigned
The manager of the Inn At Lincoln,
on the 5200 block of Cornhusker
Highway, called police at 7:18 p.m.
complaining that a man staying in the
hotel was violent and had broken a mir
ror, Finnell said.
Police knocked on the door of the
hotel room and were invited in by Don
Siddens, 38, who was staying in the
room, Finnell said.
After Siddens invited the officers
into the room, he turned around and
officers saw a “Rambo-style” knife in
Siddens’ belt, Finnell said.
Police took the knife from Siddens
and asked if he had any other weapons,
Finnell said. The man said he might,
then moved to grab a hip bag. Police
restrained him, then asked to look in the
Its a question of the scope of the consent If he
didn’t consent, they have got to have
reasonable suspicion to look in the container.
University of Nebraska law professor
hip bag, Finnell said
Siddens consented to the search,
which revealed a small metal box con
taining 31.3 grams of methampheta
mine in five plastic bags, Finnell said.
Siddens was ticketed for vandalism
of the hotel room and arrested for pos
session of narcotics with intent to deliv
On Wednesday, the Nebraska Court
of Appeals upheld a ruling by the
Lancaster District Court dismissing evi
dence taken from a hip bag in a similar
In State vs. Runge, Lancaster
District Court Judge Karen Flowers dis
missed methamphetamine and marijua
na found in a man’s hip bag from court.
The drugs were found by the Lancaster
County Sheriff but were dismissed
because he had no reason to believe
Brian Runge was carrying drugs.
Runge was stopped by the deputy
after Runge was seen running near a
reported hit and run, the court opinion
said. After stopping the man, the deputy
saw a plastic bag and film canister pro
truding from the man’s hip bag, the
When the officer tried to take the
plastic bags, Runge made a swipe at
him, then fled from the scene and was
later arrested by the deputy, the opinion
After putting Runge in his car, the
deputy searched Runge’s hip bag and
found marijuana and methampheta
mine, the opinion said.
The Lancaster County Attorney’s
office appealed the motion dismissing
the evidence. It stated the seizure was
made under the plain view doctrine,
which allows officers to seize property
of an immediately criminal nature with
out a warrant.
The Court of Appeals affirmed the
district court’s ruling, stating that the
criminal nature of the plastic bags was
not apparent enough to justify the
When conducting searches, police
are restricted by a number of U.S.
Supreme Court cases that outline when
someone can be stopped and searched.
Under Terry vs. Ohio, police are
allowed to search individuals for
weapons before arresting them without
probable cause, Gardner said, which
could account for the search of Siddens’
“The sole justification of the search
... is the protection of the police officer
and others nearby, and it must therefore
be confined in scope to an intrusion rea
sonably designed to discover guns,
knives, clubs or other hidden instru
ments,” Chief Justice Warren wrote in
the 1967 opinion.
The officers searching Sidden’s
fanny pack were justified, under Terry
vs. Ohio, to search for weapons,
Finnell said she did not have a spe
cific description of the metal case found
in Sidden’s hip bag, and she did not
know if the case was large enough to
hold a weapon.
Whether the officers had reasonable
suspicion and other key details of the
arrest will be decided in court, Gardner
Finnell said police must attend
training several times a year to learn
about legal updates and that she doubted
the officers who arrested Siddens knew
about Wednesday’s ruling.
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with smeared pizza
By Jake Bleed
Senior staff writer
A bronze sculpture in the
Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery’s
sculpture garden was vandalized
either before or after Saturday’s
home game, acting security guard
Tom Keefer said.
The vandals smeared pizza and
pizza sauce over “Fallen Dreamer,”
a sculpture of a large bronze head
lying on its side, which is located
between the Sheldon and
Architecture Hall, Keefer said.
“My guess is that it happened
either right before or after the
game,” Keefer said.
Acid in the pizza sauce ate
through the sculpture’s outside
patina, a finished layer that pro
tects the bronze sculpture from
weathering, Keefer said.
The sauce ate through an esti
mated 20 square inches on the
sculpture’s ear, eyes, lips and nose.
Keefer said it looked like the van
dals tried to feed the sculpture.
“So yeah, it was really funny
feeding it pizza while you’re drunk
walking home from the game,”
said Sheldon preparator Kari
The sculpture also had deep
scratches in the face’s lower lip,
which Stofer said were not report
ed before and could not be blamed
on Saturday’s vandalism.
Keefer said repairing the sculp
ture, which was acquired by the art
gallery last year for an undisclosed
amount, would cost between
$4,000 and $10,000.
“In order to conserve the piece,
it has to be removed from its base,
shipped to Omaha, and a conserva
tor will have to repair it,” Keefer
So yeah, it was
feeding it pizza
while you re drunk
walking home from
the game ”
Stofer applied wax to damaged
areas of the 400-pound sculpture
Monday to provide a temporary
protection against the elements.
The piece will probably be sent
to Jensen Conservation Services in
Omaha for repair, Stofer said. The
piece will lose part of its value
because it needed repairs, Stofer
Keefer said another sculpture
was ripped off its base and later
recovered on East Campus after
Nebraska’s victory in the Orange
Bowl on Jan. 2, 1998.
1 ne sculpture, Man in the
Open Air,” is still being repaired,
“The only thing to stop such a
thing would be to have more cam
pus police around the stadium dur
ing the game,” Keefer said.
University Police Sgt. Mylo
Bushing said police regularly
patrol the sculpture garden and that
combating vandalism like smeared
pizza was hard because of the short
period of time needed to do such
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