Citizens Arrest, What Would You DO

This is a discussion on Citizens Arrest, What Would You DO within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; My wife, a friend and I were in Montana visiting my kids. We were north bound on Highway 191 south of Four Corners near Bozeman ...

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Thread: Citizens Arrest, What Would You DO

  1. #1
    New Member Array LEAPSpeaker's Avatar
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    Citizens Arrest, What Would You DO

    My wife, a friend and I were in Montana visiting my kids. We were north bound on Highway 191 south of Four Corners near Bozeman Montana. A car pulled out of a bar in front of us and went into on coming traffic almost hitting a south bound vehicle doing 70+.

    The driver was an obvious DUI, he was back and forth over center line and fog line. I called 911, but being Montana the closest deputy was about 25 miles away in Bozeman.

    While on with the dispatcher the guy went over the center line and almost hit another vehicle head on. The second time he crossed over into on coming traffic, if the other car hadn't gone completely off the road, he would have hit them head on. I told the dispatcher I was going to go ahead and stop the vehicle and arrest the guy before he killed someone. I told her I was a former Gallatin County deputy, I had worked undercover and had stopped vehicles this way many times.

    I gave the phone to my wife, also a former LEO, and pulled in front of the DUI vehicle slowing to a rapid stop not allowing him to pass. My friend was also a former LEO but wasn't used to doing drug type stops. I told him to just back me up, and move the car as fast as he could to clear traffic.

    We stopped and I went out the drivers side as my friend went out the passengers side. The element of surprise is a wonderful thing, I opened his door, told him he was under arrest, and put him on the ground on the side of the road.

    He had a gun under his seat, and I advised my partner. For some unknown reason, (we were all packing) he pulled his gun at this point. I told him to put it away, the guy was under control, and to move the car. He pulled the DUI car off the road as my wife pulled our rig to the side, it all took about 45 seconds.

    As we were on with one 911 dispatcher, a Montana Power employee who was behind us was also on the phone with another 911 dispatcher, and he was freaking out. All he knew was a couple guys just drug a guy out of his car at gun point right in front of him

    The deputy responding was pretty young, I would guess either not long out of academy, or hadn't gone yet. He had just run 25 miles at well over 100 mph in moderate traffic, while listening to what the dispatcher was relaying from the Montana Power employee.

    the deputy was pretty shook up when he got there, he was actually shaking, so we put the DUI in his back seat, and sat him down in his patrol car and explained things as he calmed down a little.

    The guy turned out to be the son of a Montana State legislator, and had been arrested for DUI before. I guess the legislator made a fuss because the sheriff chewed our butts, but everything turned out OK.

    I will never know why my friend pulled his gun, I guess if he was still on the job it would have been SOP, but not for a citizen. They always tell us that when things go south, our training will take over, and we just react. I haven't found my off switch yet.....

    I attached an article from the Bozeman Chronicle, and one from the Seattle Times about this stop.

    What would you have done?
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  3. #2
    Ex Member Array azchevy's Avatar
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    Call the PD and be a good witness.

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    I probably would have done 'call 911 and be a good witness', and if someone had been killed by the drunk I would regret it forever.
    "If we loose Freedom here, there's no place to escape to. This is the Last Place on Earth!" Ronald Reagan

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    Distinguished Member Array Ghettokracker71's Avatar
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    Pull out the handy dandy...






    ........just kidding, on a more serious note; Probable call 911 and be a good witness. I wouldn't want the possible legal ramifications , or losing my vehicle(and don't want to get hurt from wrecking it) to attempt to stop another motorist. Sorry.

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    Distinguished Member Array INccwchris's Avatar
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    and you didn't get arrested for telling him he was under arrest, I'm sorry but i call bs on this story, former LEO or not, unless you are retired and have your retired credentials, you do not have police power and what you did was impersonating an officer
    "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."

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    Ex Member Array WhoWeBePart1's Avatar
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    This reminds me of the night I followed a man that I thought was drunk. Turned out he was off his medication and had no clue where he was. It is a very long story that I won't go into but the point I'm making is, you never know.

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    Ex Member Array azchevy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by INccwchris View Post
    and you didn't get arrested for telling him he was under arrest, I'm sorry but i call bs on this story, former LEO or not, unless you are retired and have your retired credentials, you do not have police power and what you did was impersonating an officer
    The article was 1994, things have changed since then, there was a lot more leeway. Nowadays he would have been in trouble in our no tolerance world. So the story does have some merit of truth to it. I see we both live in the same county, if he tried it here, he may end up in Kingman for an overnighter or two.

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    Member Array Jcabin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by INccwchris View Post
    and you didn't get arrested for telling him he was under arrest, I'm sorry but i call bs on this story, former LEO or not, unless you are retired and have your retired credentials, you do not have police power and what you did was impersonating an officer
    It's called "citizens arrest". Which is legal in almost every state. Learn your law.

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    I have also followed someone who was weaving in and out of 4 lane traffic, only I had a Police Radio in my service van as I maintained their radio system. I called it into the dispatcher when we entered the city limits and had 2 City cars waiting for me at the next traffic light. This guy was also off of his medication but that does not count for squat when you are driving. I watched the arrest go down, did my testimony and he went to jail. He bonded out the next day but had his drivers license revoked as this was the 4th time he had done this. Get them off of the road!
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  11. #10
    Ex Member Array azchevy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jcabin View Post
    It's called "citizens arrest". Which is legal in almost every state. Learn your law.
    actually..... hate to burst your bubble about knowing laws....

    FREDERICK, MD - A man that tried to make a citizen's arrest landed himself behind bars after taking his civic duty too far.

    City Police say they first responded to Schaffer Drive after Stanley Walden called 911 to report he was holding a man he believed was trying to break into cars.

    Walden then allegedly used a loaded handgun to keep the man at the scene until police arrived.

    Stanley is now charged with false imprisonment, reckless endangerment and two counts of assault.

  12. #11
    VIP Member Array NC Bullseye's Avatar
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    If you did that in NC you'd be sharing the cell with your DWI friend. No such thing as citizens arrest here. They are very specific about that in the laws here.

  13. #12
    Ex Member Array Treo's Avatar
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    What would you have done?
    Sued your ass for every penny you had

  14. #13
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    I don't think anything has changed in the citizens arrest laws. In Arizona you can only make a citizens arrest for a felony, or breach of the peace. The Arizona Revised Statutes say A private person may make an arrest:
    1. When the person to be arrested has in his presence committed a misdemeanor amounting to a breach of the peace, or a felony.
    2. When a felony has been in fact committed and he has reasonable ground to believe that the person to be arrested has committed it.

    It's much easier in California, you can even arrest for a misdemeanor there. All you do is call a cop, tell the person they are under arrest in front of the officer, who writes a ticket, and you sign it.

    The law is like a game, who ever knows the rules best wins.

    As far as BS I'm sure some of the things I will post may seem like BS, I assure you they're not, that's way I try and post documentation.

    I worked 3 yrs in uniform, and 10 years undercover, I was also a MICU paramedic, so I've seen a lot. Today I think our nations drug war is a huge failure. I speak out against the drug war for a national law enforcement group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.

    I'm sure some are going to disagree, but today America, the land of the free, imprisons more of it's own citizens than any other nation in the world, including China. We have private "for-profit" prisons where American lives are traded on the stock market, I find something wrong with that.......
    Last edited by HotGuns; July 12th, 2010 at 01:14 AM. Reason: langauge workaround
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  15. #14
    Distinguished Member Array INccwchris's Avatar
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    Jcabin, not only is holding someone against their will as a private citizen illegal and criminal confinement unless in some states you are a security guard or LP guy, even then it is a touchy situation, can only hold em for so long, for certain things, etc. etc. The pulling in front of him and slowing down to stop him is reckless driving, and impersonating an officer by pulling someone over, even without lights and sirens it is impersonating. The OP could have been in some serious trouble for criminal confinement, reckless endangerment, impersonating an officer, and his buddy could have been arrested for all of those and brandishing a firearm. The fact that they both had firearms ups every charge to a felony and we're now talking serious jail time for something like this. You even state that the arrest to be a valid citizens arrest has to be for a felony or breach of the peace and take place in front of a LEO, which now that you are out of that line of work, LEO you are not. I am sorry if I sound offensive, but you should have known better than to do that. Call police, let them handle it, and if need be since you witnessed it, with an officer present effect citizens arrest.
    "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."

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