Its dangerous when anyone stops another vehicle...even for the cops.
We can agree on that.
This is a discussion on Citizens Arrest, What Would You DO within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Ok, then lets agree to disagree on the legal aspect, however I still think it was a bad and dangerous idea because of the presence ...
Ok, then lets agree to disagree on the legal aspect, however I still think it was a bad and dangerous idea because of the presence of the family in the vehicle and the dangerous nature of the maneuver even with the OP's LEO training
"The value you put on the lost will be determined by the sacrifice you are willing to make to seek them until they are found."
Its dangerous when anyone stops another vehicle...even for the cops.
We can agree on that.
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Many states allow it: New York with felonies and , from the law's wording, may for other offenses also.
BUT, you are acting as a substitute LEO, and you must do everything right as a LEO would have to. You'd better KNOW what you're seeing is a crime, you'd better not violate someone rights in the manner you "arrest" him. It's more than with SD where a "reasonable belief" will suffice about a lethal attacker. This is: you have to be right period: there WAS a law being broken.
If you're wrong - for example that a crime was committed - you are liable for civil and perhaps criminal actions against you - (like detaining someone against their will: kidnapping). If you pull a weapon, you'd REALLY better have it all down. If the guy is innocent of any crime, your act becomes Reckless Endangerment, Threatening With Dangerous Weapon, plus gun law violations etc.. And if you shoot him and are wrong, forget it, 2nd Degree Murder.
It's a good thing NOT to do - too dicey. Cops can come faster than hell, call them, get out of their way, before that get out of the way of the weaving car or the crazy-acting person, whoever (weaving car could have been a diabetic reaction, or insulin shock, a stroke etc and making the man lie on the ground and not get treatment could kill him. BIG charges and civil suits would most definitely follow that kind of mistake.) When it's appropriate, give your witness statement. Then go home. Let the pros figure it out.
Let them, the pros, come in and evaluate: cops, EMTs etc. They know what they're doing and the law as well. Few of us do.
What everyone is forgetting is that this guy was going to kill someone right now. He blew a .32 on the BA, officers know we don't see that high a level too often, in fact when that high they need to be re-tested to make sure their level isn't going up, and their going to die of alcohol posining.
If your not a LEO sit down with a 5th and a breathalyzer and drink to a level of .32.
If someone wants to be a good witness to an unnecessary death, that's on them. I could not in good conscience sit and watch someone die if it's within my power to save a life.
If I was going to worry about being sued, I would not have become a cop. The first thing they tell you in academy is that as an officer you can be sued more ways than an individual because you operate under color of law.
I'm very comfortable in my knowledge, training, and skills.
E. Jay Fleming
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
Mohave Valley, AZ
"A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded." Abraham Lincoln
Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
Paranoia strikes deep, into your life it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... Buffalo Springfield - For What It's Worth
Here in Colorado any citizen may make an arrest for a crime committed in his presence, using such force as is reasonably necessary to subdue the offender and deliver him to the sheriff (Chapter 2, Code of Criminal Proceedings, Colorado Revised Statutes 1973, as amended).
Most states have similar provisions for citizens' arrests. Law enforcement officers have only those powers and authorities delegated to them by the citizens; if the citizens have no authority to arrest then such authority cannot be delegated to law enforcement officers. Period.
That said, I would never consider attempting to arrest a drunk driver in a moving vehicle. Intentionally placing your automobile in front of the drunk's was not the wisest possible course of action under these circumstances. When I suspect a drunk driver is in the vicinity I want to stay behind him, not giving him any opportunity to injure me or my passengers.
As a two-tour Vietnam combat veteran and retired cop with 24 years of experience I do everything that I can to avoid any type of confrontation. Since retiring the only times I have ever intervened in any events (made "citizen's arrests") were (1) convenience store clerk being beaten by a thief in my presence, and (2) man in my club punched out his wife, then started kicking her on the floor. In both cases I was lucky enough to apply a successful reversed-wrist takedown and hold, then subdue the bad guys until the cops arrived. In both cases I made several trips to the courthouse, in both cases I received death threats, and shortly after one conviction my house and truck were vandalized to the tune of $5,000.
Under the circumstances described, I would have continued following at a distance, keeping the 911 operator advised of events as they occurred (including reporting the location of the accident, if one occured), waited for officers to get into position to intercept the drunk, offered back-up or assistance if necessary, and been a good witness.
Lobo Gun Leather
serious equipment for serious business, since 1972
Here is a scenario for you:
You are driving down the road. Someone forces your car to a stop. Two guys with guns jump out of the car. What do you do?
I'd use my car as a weapon and try to run over them, pull a gun if I had one and open fire. They are a threat to my life.
I don't drink, so I wouldn't be driving drunk...but I doubt drinking would make me behave any more passively. Someone who forces my car to stop and jumps out with a gun in hand had better be a uniformed cop. If he isn't, he represents a severe and immediate danger and I wouldn't hesitate to use lethal force to protect myself and family.
If you attempt a citizen's arrest, you'd better be prepared to be resisted. If you pull a gun, you'd better be prepared to show appropriate force included killing someone.
I live in Arizona. If someone tries to physically restrain me or hold me against my will for a perceived misdemeanor, I'm going to assume he is a robber / murderer / drug runner. When I resist, I'll honestly think I'm fighting to save my life from a potential murderer - and I will react as the law allows to defend myself.
If I found myself in the spot of the OP, I'd follow with my hazard lights on & honking my horn. That should suffice to warn oncoming traffic that something odd is happening - be careful! If the guy stopped on his own, I'd pull past him and keep my warning lights flashing until the cop arrived. If the guy got out of his car and asked me what was wrong - then he's probably a good guy making a mistake. Talk with him. If he gets out with a gun, pull a safe distance away while continuing to alert other drivers with the horn & lights.
No way at all would I force a car to stop (which is probably using lethal force already - I'm not a lawyer but it sounds to me like you are doing something that could result in someone dying). No way do I jump out of my car with a gun and shout "Citizen's arrest!" And as a private citizen, I don't recognize any other citizen's "right" to forcibly detain me. Too many weirdos running loose, too many dangerous people. And if I'm carrying, do you think I'm going to hand my gun over to someone I don't know who is waving a gun and screaming he is going to hold me against my will?
FL.= NO Citizens Arrest. You sir, Did a good deed that most wont think of JMO
A Native Floridian = RARE
IT'S OUR RIGHTS>THEY WANT TO WRONG
Technically speaking, there really is no such thing as a "citizen's arrest," if you take the meaning of the term to describe an official process. That is, you don't have the ability to inform a criminal, "I am now making a 'citizen's arrest.'" It prescribes no authority.
Rather, what is meant by the term can be restated as, "if you see a serious crime in progress, you can detain the offender to a reasonable extent." Different states describe this action in various ways. As an example, if you see a guy snatch a woman's purse in public and you take off after him and tackle him, you can usually hold him there until law enforcement arrives and won't be liable for "unlawful detention."
That general concept is referred to as "citizen's arrest" as a kind of shorthand, but detaining another citizen is a serious matter and it shouldn't be done unless the matter is so cut-and-dried that there's no risk of dispute. So, going back to the purse-snatching example, hopefully the victim and other witnesses would be able to confirm your account.
What if the purse-snatcher decides he doesn't want to hang around waiting for the cops? What level of force can you apply to enforce the detention? A submission hold, like an armlock, keeping him on the ground is fairly reasonable. Holding him at gunpoint gets into a gray area. You could probably pull a handgun and say, "We're waiting here for the police," and hope he complies. If he gets up and takes off running, what are you gonna do? Shoot?
"It may seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first."
The OP didn't have lights on his vehicle, nor did he flash a badge, nor did he claim to be a LEO during the entire incident. If he doesn't even meet atleast one of these factors conditional to the incident, then there is not even slightest semblence of impersonation.
Well, first off, I don't have any training in such acts, so if it was me, I'd call 9-1-1 and hope for the best.
If I was on the jury, I'd say not guilty to all charges against the OP and his friend(s). From everything I just read, i would say they didn't impersonate an officer, but I'm not LEO or a lawyer, so I wouldn't take $.02 for my opinion.
He didn't use flashing lights, he didn't say he was a LEO, he didn't flash any sort of badge, wear uniform looking clothing, etc.
The drunk driver was putting MANY people's lives in danger. Any one of us could have been in the on-coming traffic.
So, as an unofficial jury member, I vote Not Guilty on the OP and his friend, and Guilty on the drunk driver, with a recommendation for full punishment allowed.