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Docs: Head Gonzaga baseball coach filed motion to suppress evidence in DUI case

Mark Machtolf filed a motion to dismiss his DUI case on Sept. 26, stating the officer who arrested him did not have reasonable suspicion to perform a Terry stop.

REARDAN, Wash. — Four months after Gonzaga's head baseball coach Mark Machtolf was arrested for driving under the influence in Reardan, new court documents show Machtolf attempted to have his case thrown out. The request was ultimately denied.

Machtolf was arrested on June 10 for charges of driving under the influence in Reardan. According to the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office, Machtolf provided a breath sample on the night of his arrest and his blood alcohol content (BAC) was 0.284, three times the legal limit. 

On Sept. 26, the Adams County District Court received a motion from Machtolf to suppress evidence, stating that the officer who pulled him over did not have reasonable suspicion to perform a Terry stop on him.

For a Terry stop to be valid, an officer has to have reasonable suspicion based on facts that the person stopped has been or is about to be involved in a crime. Information given to an officer by a witness can be used as reason to conduct a Terry stop "so long as the informant's tip demonstrates some indicia of reliability."

In Machtolf's case, the responding officer said she conducted a Terry stop on him based on two tips, according to documents.

The first tip came from a 911 call, in which a Lincoln County dispatcher told the officer they have received a call about a possible DUI. The caller told the dispatcher that the truck "was all over the road and had poor lane travel" on Highway 2 in Reardan. Within two minutes of the call, the officer spotted the truck, later determined to be driven by Machtolf.

As Machtolf drove past the officer, she was waived down by a man in a white truck. The man reportedly told the officer he had just called 911 to report that the truck was possibly being driven by a drunk driver, as he saw the truck swerving and "forcing other vehicles off the roadway."

As the man was speaking with the officer, they observed the truck pulling into a store parking lot, Machtolf getting out of the truck and entering the store. The officer was approximately 20 feet away from the entrance of the store when she observed Machtolf exiting the store several minutes later. According to her, Machtolf was "stumbling and having difficulty walking in a straight line" while walking back to his truck.

Court documents state the initial 911 call and the man's conversation with the officer "demonstrate sufficient indicia of reliability." Additionally, the officer's observations of Machtolf stumbling and having difficulty walking corroborated suspicious activity.

Ultimately, the court found the officer had "sufficient reasonable suspicion" to conduct the Terry stop on Machtolf and denied his motion to suppress evidence.

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