People v. Rizzo

Court of Appeals of NY, 1927


  • D intended to rob a payroll man with 3 others and police were following them.
  • 2 of the Ds had firearms.
  • Police intervened and arrested the D and 3 others before they could find the man that they wanted to rob.
  • The man they wanted to rob was not even at the location where they were arrested.

Procedural History:  Lower court convicted the D of attempt to commit the crime of robbery in the first degree and was sentenced to state prison.  D appealed.

Issue:  Did D’s acts constitute a crime in itself?

Holding: No.  D’s acts were merely preparation.


  • Ds acts were too remote with respect to the commission of the crime to constitute attempted robbery because he had not found or seen the man he intended to rob.
  • The act or acts must come or advance very near to the accomplishment of the intended crime.
  • No attempt to rob the man could be made at least until he came into sight.

Disposition: Reversed.  New trial ordered.

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