City of Washington, PA
Washington County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the City of Washington 9-18-1997 by Ord. No. 1558 (Ch. 1, Part 12, of the 1986 Code of Ordinances). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Public consumption of alcohol — See Ch. 96, Art. I.
Animal nuisances — See Ch. 115.
Noise — See Ch. 215.
Nuisances — See Ch. 222.
Obscenity — See Ch. 228.
Disorderly conduct — See Ch. 240, Art. II.
Interfering with or damaging public property — See Ch. 254, Art. I.
Any City of Washington police officer shall, upon view, have the right of arrest without warrant upon probable cause when there is ongoing conduct that imperils the personal security of any person or endangers public or private property when the conduct constitutes a summary offense relating to:
A. 
Disorderly conduct.
B. 
Public drunkenness.
C. 
Obstructing highways and other public passages.
D. 
Purchase, consumption, possession or transportation of intoxicating beverages by a person less than 21 years of age.
The following are guidelines set by the City Council of the City of Washington promulgated by the City of Washington providing for making warrantless arrests pursuant to this chapter. A police officer of the City of Washington may make a warrantless arrest pursuant to this chapter only upon his or her own personal observation of the totality of circumstances implicated by the actor's or actors' conduct, including:
A. 
The actor or co-actors.
B. 
Other persons, including members of the public, in the immediate vicinity of the scene of the incident.
C. 
The presence of other persons, including members of the public, outside the immediate vicinity of the incident.
D. 
The locality and surroundings.
Prior to making an arrest without warrant, the police officer must first have cause before making an arrest. "Probable cause" means that, at the time of arrest, the facts and circumstances within the officer's knowledge are reasonable, trustworthy and sufficient to warrant a person of reasonable caution in believing that the actor has committed or is committing an offense.
In making a warrantless arrest, the police officer must personally observe the following:
A. 
The actor or actors actually engaging in the conduct constituting the stated offense or a condition which, if not removed or arrested, will likely result in a public nuisance or harm to a person or public or private property.
A. 
The police officer may make a warrantless arrest if the conduct observed places any person, including the actor or actors, at risk of bodily harm. An actor's conduct imperils the personal security of any person if it also places that person reasonably in fear of bodily harm. In addition, the actor's conduct must pose a threat to the integrity of public property or private property such that there is a likelihood that said property would be damaged or destroyed if the actor's conduct continues.
B. 
Police officers may make a warrantless arrest of an actor engaged in conduct constituting a summary offense, as set forth as follows:
(1) 
Disorderly conduct as set forth under 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 5503. Under said § 5503, a person is guilty of disorderly conduct if, with intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm or recklessly creating a risk thereof, he:
(a) 
Engages in fighting or threatening, or in violent or tumultuous behavior.
(b) 
Makes unreasonable noise.
(c) 
Uses obscene language or makes an obscene gesture.
(d) 
Creates a hazardous or physically offense condition by any act which serves no legitimate purpose of the actor.
(e) 
"Public" means affecting or likely to affect persons in a place to which the public or a substantial group has access; among the places included are highways, transport facilities, schools, prisons, apartment houses, place of business or amusement, any neighborhood or any premises which are open to the public.
(2) 
Public drunkenness under 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 5505. Under § 5505 of the Crimes Code, a person appearing in any public place manifestly under the influence of alcohol to the degree that he or she may endanger himself or herself or other persons or property or annoy persons in his vicinity commits the summary offense of public drunkenness.
(3) 
Obstructing highways and other public passages under 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 5507.
(a) 
Under § 5507 of the Crimes Code, a person who, having no legal privilege to do so, intentionally or recklessly obstructs any highway, railroad track or public utility right-of-way, sidewalk, navigable waters or other public passage, whether alone or with others, commits a summary offense. No person shall be deemed guilty of any offense under this section solely because of a gathering of persons to hear him speak or otherwise communicate or solely because of being members of such gathering. A person in a gathering commits a summary offense if he refuses to obey a reasonable official request or order to move:
[1] 
To prevent obstruction of a highway or other public passage.
[2] 
To maintain public safety by dispersing those gathered in dangerous proximity to a fire or other hazard.
(b) 
An order to move, addressed to a person whose speech or other lawful behavior attracts an obstructing audience, shall not be deemed reasonable if the obstruction can be readily remedied by police control of the size or location of the gathering.
(c) 
"Obstructs" shall mean rendering impassable without unreasonable inconvenience or hazard.
(4) 
Purchase, consumption, possession or transportation of liquor or malt or brewed beverages (18 Pa.C.S.A. § 6308). Under § 6308 of the Crimes Code, a person commits a summary offense if he, being less than 21 years of age, attempts to purchase, purchases, consumes, possesses or knowingly and intentionally transports any liquor or malt or brewed beverages, as defined in § 6310.6 of the Crimes Code.
The City of Washington police officers shall utilize the guidelines, as aforesaid, in making an arrest without warrant. For the circumstances enumerated in this chapter, a police officer shall, upon view, have the right of arrest without warrant, upon probable cause, when there is ongoing conduct that imperils the personal security of any person or endangers public or private property.