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Motion to Suppress the Crocodile

The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled this week that a police officer unlawfully entered a Connecticut man's home while searching for a missing teenager and that the trial court should have granted the defendant's motion to suppress the subsequently discovered evidence, to wit, a large crocodile:

[The officer] testified that based on the facts as he knew them to be, he believed that the missing [teenager] may be in danger inside the house.
*                         *                        *
The officers searched the first floor of the house for [the missing teenager] and then proceeded upstairs.  At one point . . . [one of the officers] went into a bathroom on the second floor and noticed what appeared to be a dark figure though the bathtub shower door. ... He testified that he believed the dark figure was the missing [teenager].  In this regard, he testified as follows: I slid the door open to the tub.  To the greatest bit of relief, just a crocodile or a large lizard [was] in the tub. [The officer] estimated that the reptile was six or seven feet in length. 

The defendant was charged with illegal possession of a reptile and risk of injury to a child, but the state's high court ordered that the motion to dismiss be granted and all charges dismissed because the circumstances did not justify the officer's warrantless entry. 

Perhaps the most remarkable part of this story is the officers' reactions to discovering a large crocodile in the bathtub of a home in an affluent Greenwich, Connecticut neighborhood:

[The officer] closed the shower door, and he and . . . [another officer present] continued to search the rest of the residence for the [teenager]. ... The officers, have completed their search . . . exited the residence and left the reptile still in the bathtub where they found it.

AP story here.  Hat tip to How Appealing.

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