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Student With Gun ‘Illegally’ Searched

Wed., Sept. 18, 1996, midnight

A 15-year-old boy caught packing a loaded pistol at school should not have been suspended, a state appeals court ruled Tuesday, because the weapon was turned up in an illegal search.

“No matter how serious the public safety concerns, if the critical evidence was illegally obtained, it cannot be used,” Justice Joseph Sullivan wrote for the Appellate Division of the trial-level State Supreme Court.

The 4-0 ruling came in the case of a boy identified only as Juan C., who was caught with the pistol in the Bronx’s William Howard Taft High School.

A security guard testified that he spotted what looked like the handle of a gun inside Juan’s jacket. A search turned up the weapon, Juan was suspended for a year and criminal charges were filed against him.

A Bronx Family Court kicked out the charges, ruling that “the outline of the gun was not visible, the slight bulge was not in any particular shape or form and was not remotely suspicious.”



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