final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
Appeal from the Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County, Lower
Tribunal No. 15-7068B Marisa Tinkler-Mendez, Judge.
J. Martinez, Public Defender, and Natasha Baker-Bradley,
Assistant Public Defender, for appellant.
Jo Bondi, Attorney General, and David Llanes, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
ROTHENBERG, C.J., and SALTER and FERNANDEZ, JJ.
sole issue raised in this direct appeal is whether the trial
court abused its discretion by admitting what has been
characterized by the appellant, Ronald Thompson ("the
defendant"), as an anonymous 911 call at his trial, at
which he was convicted of strong arm robbery and battery.
Because the 911 call was not anonymous and was admissible as
a spontaneous statement and an excited utterance, we affirm.
evidence is as follows. Mr. and Mrs. Benson were vacationing
in Miami and were at a restaurant seated at an outdoor table
facing the sidewalk on Ocean Drive. When Mrs. Benson left the
table to use the restroom, she left her purse on the table
with her husband. Shortly thereafter, a woman and the
defendant approached Mr. Benson. The woman asked Mr. Benson
for a lighter and after he twice told her that he did not
smoke and did not have a lighter, the woman grabbed Mrs.
Benson's purse and ran off. When Mr. Benson tried to
pursue her, the defendant grabbed Mr. Benson by the shirt and
pulled him off his chair in order to keep him from pursuing
the woman. Mr. Benson broke free and began chasing the woman
while the defendant chased Mr. Benson.
the chase, the woman screamed: "Help, this man is trying
to rob me, and steal my purse, " and the defendant
followed up with his own misdirection: "Help, this guy
is trying to rob my wife, trying to steal her purse."
Mr. Benson caught up to the woman and pulled his wife's
purse from the woman's hands as the woman tried to kick
him and as the defendant grabbed Mr. Benson and repeatedly
punched him in the back. Security officers tackled both men
and the woman fled. Law enforcement arrived shortly
thereafter, and they were also able to apprehend the woman.
After conducting their investigation, the police arrested the
woman and the defendant.
the defendant's trial, the trial court admitted, over
defense objection, the 911 call that was placed at 1:41 a.m.
from the crime scene as an excited utterance and/or a
spontaneous statement. The substance of the call is as
CALLER: I'm calling for [sic] address 1052 Ocean Drive.
OPERATOR: 1052 Ocean Drive. You need rescue or police?
CALLER: Police, please.
OPERATOR: What's the problem ...