My question involves police conduct in the State of: California
A stolen car was located on a city street. (Actually, it wasn't stolen. Seller/Buyer dispute. Seller made false report) It was parked in front of a friends house. After locating car (lo-jack) police set up surveillance. A "suspect" presented them self and began to towel rain off car. This took several minutes. The police observed but did not apprehend "suspect." Instead they allowed "suspect" to enter residence. For unknown reasons they believed "criminal activity" was being conducted inside. To gain entry they stated "suspect" fled into house. The ensuing "hot pursuit" justified their forced entry. This is not true. The "suspect" legally owned car. Why flee? Anyway, once inside they held all occupants at gunpoint and handcuffed. One cop asked about the car and new owner immeadiately came forward with bill-of-sale and resolved issue. However, cops proceeded to tear house apart looking for Meth lab, counterfeiting operation, porn studio, Osama bin Laden , whatever. Never telling the home owner why. They found oz of pot (Med use) and pain killers. Threw the book at him. (poss/sale) He tried to get it tossed on fourth amnd violation. Motion to Suppress was denied. Judge stated that "suspect" indicated "dominion & control" over vehicle. "Hot pursuit" justified entry and the presence of "criminal activity" justified a "Protective sweep." (illegal search)
To the best of my knowledge "dominion & control" is just that; Inside & behind the wheel. Also, from research, "suspect" must be "jail-able." I don't think toweling rain off "hot" car is a crime. And, if apprehended while toweling, "suspect" could exercise fifth amnd, say nothing, and it would be impossible to convict. Cop in charge stated there was enough probable cause to detain. But he never said enough to arrest.
Here are my questions: Does toweling rain off "hot" car constitute "dominion & control?" Is toweling off a "hot" car a crime? If "suspect" was "hot pursuitable" enough for forced entry, then why wasn't "suspect" apprehended outside? Was "suspect" worthy of illegal entry? (Hot pursuitable?)
Please, I want your two-cents worth