Justin Rogers, an 18-year-old from Quincy, and Tyrell Mosley, an 18-year-old from Brockton, have been arraigned on 10 counts of breaking and entering into a motor vehicle and eight counts of larceny under $250. Mosley is also charged with three counts of improper use of a credit card. It is alleged that the two men broke into cars in an apartment complex parking lot over the course of the month and stole a variety of items, including money, prescription drugs and electronics. Scituate and Cohasset police worked on the investigation, which reportedly included video surveillance. Detectives were allegedly able to identify the pair after footage revealed one of them using a stolen credit card. Police were allegedly able to observe part of the license plate of the vehicle driven by the suspects, and the full plate number was identified after further surveillance. Wicked Local reports that both of these men were “transported to the Scituate Police station for booking. Upon their release on bail, they were re-arrested by Cohasset detectives and transported to the Cohasset Police station for booking.”
As a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney, this arrest scenario immediately strikes me as strange. It might be that these men were “re-arrested” by the Cohasset police because the Scituate police were acting outside of their jurisdiction during the initial arrest. Police officers do not have authority to act outside of their jurisdictions unless they are authorized by statute or are conducting a valid citizens’ arrest. There are certain exceptions. One allows an officer who sees an arrestable offense being committed in his own jurisdiction to pursue the suspect into a neighboring jurisdiction to conduct an arrest. Another exception allows an officer sworn in as a special police officer in a second jurisdiction to make an arrest in the second jurisdiction. The third exception allows an officer in one jurisdiction to request “suitable aid” from an officer outside of his jurisdiction. Finally, the last exception allows officers of towns that have entered into mutual aid agreements to arrest in the municipalities included in the agreement. These exceptions are laid out in Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 41, section 98A, Chapter 41, section 99, Chapter 37, section 13, and Chapter 40, section 8G.
In this case, it might be that the Scituate and Cohasset police departments have some sort of mutual aid agreement, given that they were working together on this investigation. This might not be so, however, because it doesn’t seem to make sense that Rogers and Mosley were arrested by Scituate officers, released, and then re-arrested by Cohasset officers. This might be one ground for a motion to suppress evidence or a motion to dismiss.