Frisk of suspect in DSHS lobby unlawful; no reason to believe suspect was armed or dangerous

State v. Setterstrom, Washington Supreme Court, Docket No. 79690-4, filed May 22, 2008

Mr. Setterstrom and another friend were in the lobby of Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), a government agency. Someone had complained to the police that a person was sleeping in the DSHS lobby and another was under the influence of drugs. Mr. Setterstrom was next to the person asleep on the lobby bench and was filling out a benefits application. Police approached Mr. Setterstrom, saw that he had filled out the application with his name, and asked if that was his name and how to spell it. Initially, he said yes, but then he changed his mind and said it was for his friend. When his friend awoke, police asked what his friend’s real name was, and Mr. Setterstrom blurted out a different name. Police believed Mr. Setterstrom was under the influence of methamphetamine because his behavior was fidgety, but didn’t stand up or put his hands in his pockets.

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