Based on all information available to the officers, we find both Officer Boggs and Officer Moore had reasonable articulable suspicion of criminal activity which justified an investigatory stop of Mr. Ware. When Mr. Ware then lied about his identity, an investigatory stop became an arrest leading to the discovery of the contraband on Mr. Ware’s person.


State v. Ware

2023 – Ohio – 1807

Fifth District Appellate Court

Richland County, Ohio

May 30, 2023


Disturbance at Enterprise Rental Car

On Monday April 13, 2020, Officer Mark Boggs of the Mansfield Police Department was dispatched to an Enterprise car rental store, 1512 West Fourth Street, in regard to a disturbance call. Upon arrival, he noted Mr. Abram Ware and a woman later identified as Ms. C’Asia Jackson standing outside the store. As Officer Boggs walked by the pair to enter the store he asked if everything was okay. Mr. Ware replied “everything is cool” which caused Boggs to suspect Mr. Ware was the cause of the disturbance.

Enterprise car rental store, 1512 West Fourth Street, Mansfield, Ohio was the location of a series of incidents that led to the arrest, prosecution and conviction of Mr. Abram Ware.  He was sentenced to ten to fifteen years in prison and the Fifth District Appellate Court upheld his conviction.

Court Explains Trespass

Inside the store, Officer Boggs spoke to the employee who had called in the disturbance. The employee explained Mr. Ware wanted to extend the rental period on a rental car agreement. But because Mr. Ware was not an authorized driver on the agreement, the employee had declined to do so. In response, Mr. Ware began screaming and became threatening to employees. The employee requested Mr. Ware be removed from the property and that he be “trespassed.” To “trespass” someone means Officer Boggs would collect Mr. Ware’s information and relay it to dispatch to document. Then if Mr. Ware appeared on the property in the future and employees called 911, dispatch would immediately know Mr. Ware was trespassing on the store property.

Plastic Baggie Peek-a-Boo

Officer Boggs therefore went back outside to collect Mr. Ware’s information and found Officer Jordan Moore on the scene and already speaking with Mr. Ware. Officer Boggs noted Mr. Ware had large bulges in his pant legs, appeared to have something shoved down the front of his pants, and had visible pieces of plastic baggies sticking out of his waistband.

Wrong Information Leads to Arrest

Mr. Ware had provided Officer Moore with a name and social security number which Officer Moore relayed to dispatch. Dispatch advised the information Mr. Ware had provided belonged to a deceased person. Upon this discovery, officers placed Mr. Ware under arrest. Mr. Ware was highly combative with officers and repeatedly yelled for Ms. Jackson to leave the scene. Once placed in handcuffs, a search of Mr. Ware’s person produced a scale and several bags containing different types of suspected drugs. While that was going on, officers noticed Ms. Jackson kept moving a black bag out of their view. A later search of the bag produced marijuana and a handgun. The following day, a search of a hotel room where Mr. Ware was allegedly staying yielded additional drugs.


As a result of the incident at the Enterprise store, in case number 20CR369 the Richland County Grand Jury returned an indictment charging Mr. Ware with four counts of trafficking in cocaine, two counts of trafficking in a fentanyl-related compound, one count of possession of eutylone, one count of aggravated possession of methamphetamine, two counts of assault on a police officer and two counts of resisting arrest. In case number 21CR688, related to the search of Mr. Ware’s hotel room, the Richland County Grand Jury retuned an indictment charging Mr. Ware with one count of aggravated possession of methamphetamine.

Motion to Suppress

Mr. Ware pled not guilty to the charges and on March 2022 filed a motion to suppress. His motion argued Boggs and Moore had no cause to detain him at the Enterprise store. At a hearing held on April 26, 2022, wherein Mr. Ware was represented by counsel, the state elicited the above outlined testimony from Officer Boggs. Mr. Ware presented no evidence. On May 6, 2022, the trial court issued a judgment entry overruling Mr. Ware’s motion.

Mr. Ware Represented Himself ‘Pro Se’ and had a Court Appointed Attorney as Standby Counsel

On May 26, 2022, Mr. Ware elected to proceed to a bench trial and further elected to proceed pro se. The trial court appointed standby counsel for Mr. Ware. At the conclusion of state’s evidence, the trial court granted Mr. Ware’s Crim.R. 29 motion as to both counts of assault on a police officer, and one count of resisting arrest.

Guilty Verdicts

Mr. Ware then elicited testimony from Officer Boggs and Officer Moore. At the conclusion of evidence, the trial court returned verdicts of guilty on all remaining counts with the exception of the remaining count of resisting arrest.

Sentenced to Ten to Fifteen Years

In case number 20CR369, after merging several counts, Mr. Ware was sentenced on count one, trafficking in cocaine, to an indefinite term of incarceration of 10 to 15 years; 36 months on count four, trafficking in a fentanyl-related compound, and 12 months each on counts seven and eight, aggravated possession of drugs. The trial court ordered Mr. Ware to serve the sentences consecutively to one another and consecutive to his six-month sentence for aggravated possession of drugs in case number 2021CR688.

Ineffective Assistance of Counsel

Appeal Ineffective Assistance of Counsel based on his court appointed attorney’s failure to introduce cruiser camera video that would have demonstrated Mr. Ware was unlawfully detained.

Investigative Stops

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits warrantless searches and seizures, rendering them per se unreasonable unless an exception applies. Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347, 357, (1967).

An investigative stop, or Terry stop, is a common exception to the Fourth Amendment warrant requirement. Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, (1968).

Because the “balance between the public interest and the individual’s right to personal security” tilts in favor of a standard less than probable cause in such cases, the Fourth Amendment is satisfied if the officer’s action is supported by reasonable suspicion to believe that criminal activity “may be afoot.” United States v. Brignoni-Ponce, 422 U.S. 873, 878, (1975); United States v. Sokolow, 490 U.S. 1, 7, 109 S.Ct. 1581, 104 L.Ed.2d 1 (1989).

In Terry, the [U.S.] Supreme Court held that a police officer may stop an individual if the officer has a reasonable suspicion based upon specific and articulable facts that criminal behavior has occurred or is imminent. See, State v. Chatton, 11 Ohio St.3d 59, 61, (1984).

The propriety of an investigative stop must be viewed in light of the totality of the circumstances surrounding the stop “as viewed through the eyes of the reasonable and prudent police officer on the scene who must react to events as they unfold.” State v. Andrews, 57 Ohio St.3d 86, 87-88, (1991); State v. Bobo, 37 Ohio St.3d 177, 178, (1988).

Mr. Ware’s Arguments

Mr. Ware argues he was immediately detained by Officer Moore without justification, a conclusion he argues would have been supported by Moore’s dash camera video and his testimony had both been presented during the suppression hearing.

According to the testimony presented by the state at the hearing, officers were first provided with information from dispatch which could support a charge of disorderly conduct. At the scene, Officer Boggs collected further information from Enterprise employees who confirmed Mr. Ware engaged in tumultuous and threatening behavior at the store. At the suppression hearing Officer Boggs testified this behavior could constitute menacing.

Further, employees requested Mr. Ware be trespassed. When Officer Boggs exited the store to collect further information from Mr. Ware and process the trespass request, he found Officer Moore talking to Mr. Ware. Boggs heard Mr. Ware provide a name and a social security number to Moore. There is nothing in the record to support a conclusion that this interaction with Mr. Ware was anything other than consensual. “During a Terry stop, an officer can ask for identification or sufficient information to write a citation or to run a background check for outstanding warrants.State v. Millerton, 2015-Ohio- 34, citing State v. Wortham, 145 Ohio App.3d 126, (2d Dist.2001); State v. Harrison, 2013-Ohio-1235.

Fifth District Appellate Court Determines Mansfield Police had Reasonable Suspicion to Detain Mr. Boggs

Based on all information available to the officers, we find both Officer Boggs and Officer Moore had reasonable articulable suspicion of criminal activity which justified an investigatory stop of Mr. Ware. When Mr. Ware then lied about his identity, an investigatory stop became an arrest leading to the discovery of the contraband on Mr. Ware’s person.

No Ineffective Counsel


Because we find the officers possessed reasonable suspicion to conduct an investigatory stop, we also find counsel for Mr. Ware did not render ineffective assistance by failing to present testimony from Officer Moore and his dash camera footage during the suppression hearing.

The first assignment of error is overruled.

Mr. Ware had a second appeal based on sentencing that was also denied.  Mr. Ware was sentenced to an aggregate of ten to fifteen years in prison.

Information for this article was obtained from State v. Ware, 2023 – Ohio – 1807.

State v. Ware, 2023 – Ohio – 1807 was issued by the Fifth District Appellate Court on May 30, 2023 and is binding in the following Ohio Counties: Ashland, Coshocton, Delaware, Fairfield, Guernsey, Holmes, Knox, Licking, Morgan, Morrow, Muskingum, Perry, Richland, Stark and Tuscarawas.

Lessons Learned:

  1. Failure to Disclose Personal Information – Though not stated in the case holding, it is likely that Mr. Ware was initially arrested for Failure to Disclose Personal Information O.R.C. §2921.29(A) “No person, who is in a public place shall refuse to disclose the person’s name, address, or date of birth, when requested by a law enforcement officer who reasonably suspects … (1) The person is committing, has committed, or is about to commit a criminal offense.”. Once Mr. Ware lied about his identity, he would have violated this statute. A key element that law enforcement should be aware is that for a suspect to commit this offense, the violation must occur in a public place.  In this case the Enterprise Rental Agency at 1512 West Fourth Street, Mansfield was a public place.  Providing a deceased person’s identity was another key element that was violative of the statute. For more information see William Threw Himself Off of the Booking-Room Chair and Maintained the Fetal Position, Refusing to be Processed During His Arrest … Did this Behavior Rise to Obstructing Official Business? – the Second District Appellate Court determined that a police station is not a ‘public place’.
  2. Obstructing Official Business – Another charge that may have been reasonable is O.R.C. §2921.31(A) Obstructing Official Business. “No person, without privilege to do so and with purpose to prevent, obstruct, or delay the performance by a public official of any authorized act within the public official’s capacity shall do any act that hampers or impedes a public official in the performance of the public official duties.”. Here, Mr. Ware did obstruct the investigation of the Trespass investigation when he provided a deceased person’s information.  For more information on Obstructing Official Business see
  3. Investigative Detention – Ware argued that he was unlawfully detained at the moment Officer Boggs or later Officer Moore approached him. Depending on the information provided to the officers from dispatch, there may have been enough to immediately detain him.  This is not discussed in the case, but to review, if there is a known caller [name and phone number] and the information included criminal activity afoot with a suspect description, then Officer Boggs or Officer Moore could have reasonably detained Mr. Ware. For more information see Supreme Court Fence Sitting and Glenn had Enough BudWeis(N)er for a .185 BAC But Was the Traffic Stop Lawful?.
  4. Pre-Sent Arms! Mansfield Police Officer Mark Boggs and Officer Jordan Moore should both be highly commended for their actions on April 13, 2020 to remove a drug dealer from the streets of Mansfield!

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Robert H. Meader Esq.