Situation over the past weekend (was I wrong?)

This is a discussion on Situation over the past weekend (was I wrong?) within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; howdy all, I'm new to the board here (registered to ask this question actually). I had a bit of a situation this weekend while carrying, ...

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Thread: Situation over the past weekend (was I wrong?)

  1. #1
    Member Array novcdtshotz's Avatar
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    Situation over the past weekend (was I wrong?)

    howdy all,

    I'm new to the board here (registered to ask this question actually).

    I had a bit of a situation this weekend while carrying, and I was hoping to get some input as reactions have been mixed amongst my co-workers about "what I did."

    The scenario: (Northern Virginia Area)

    I ride a motorcycle 24/7, and don't own another vehicle. On Saturday, I had ridden to the local shopping center to run some errands. I parked my bike in the middle of the parking lot (I was running errands on both sides of the lot, I figured it would be "closest" to wherever I ended). I ran into the grocery store and picked up a few things, then across the lot to drop off some drycleaning.

    When I came out of the drycleaners and started walking back to my bike (the lot was packed btw, I couldn't even see the motorcycle until I was almost to my parking spot), as I get closer, I notice that someone is sitting on my bike. I'm about 20ft away from my bike now, behind and to the left, and I'm watching some dude sit on my bike with a screwdriver and other small instrument trying to hotwire my ignition.

    I said "nice bike" to the guy and he about jumped out of his skin; he was late 30's ish, and bigger than I, and was obvioulsy trying to steal my motorcycle.

    I am a licensed CCW holder, and carry everywhere I go. I was carrying a full size Star Mod30m @ 4 O'clock in a "cowboy" style holster, and brushed the side of my jacket back and rested my palm on the grip of my pistol (at that point, the guy knew I was armed). I told the guy to get off my bike (which he did), then told him to sit on the curb nearby (while I called the cops). I never drew on him, never made any motion to unsecure my firearm, but kept my hand on the grip the entire time (in actuallity I was scared of this guy). The cops arrived and placed him under arrest, we'd drawn a bit of a crowd at that point and two "witnesses" came forward to support my statement. I was not disarmed, nor asked to show my permit, the police on-scene were amazingly polite, and after about 30 minutes I was on my way home.

    I'm now being told that it's entirely possible that I'll be charged with brandishing a firearm, and kidnapping with a firearm. I did nothing more than brush my jacket back, and tell the man to sit on the curb until the police arrived. I never said anything like "I'll shoot you" or any other phrase implying I would use force. (In fact, if he'd gotten up and walked off, I would probably have let him, what else could I have done?).

    Am I serioulsy going to go to jail for this? I have no criminal record, an honorable military discharge from active duty and the NG, and work in the defense community. A record like this will absolutely kill my career. I've sought out legal counsel, but I'd like some input from the guys / gals here.

    Was I in the wrong? What should I have done instead?

    Thank you everyone, I appreciate the input.

    EDIT - fixed the moderator edit; sorry!
    Last edited by novcdtshotz; March 9th, 2009 at 02:10 PM. Reason: Language workaround.

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  3. #2
    Member Array jkvan87's Avatar
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    It is your property. He was doing a felony crime.. However, I think you want to know is "is it illegal to force someone to stay after they commit a felony (robbery/theft)". I doubt it.

  4. #3
    VIP Member Array JAT40's Avatar
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    I would say you're good, the thief may have been armed.
    First to call the police is a big plus.
    Don't let the head games get to you.
    Welcome to the forum.
    While people are saying "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, ... and they will not escape. 1Th 5:3

  5. #4
    Member Array snip's Avatar
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    atleast in SC you can make a citizens arrest for a felony and steeling a car/motorcycle is a felony. so all you did was make a citizens arrest.

  6. #5
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    You're good to go. You were protecting your property during a crime in progress.

    No jury of your peers (especially these peers) would ever convict.

    IMHO, nicely handled, well done!

    BTW, welcome to DC. Stick around, learn and contribute.
    CCW permit holder for Idaho, Utah, Pennsylvania, Maine and New Hampshire. I can carry in your country but not my own.

  7. #6
    Member Array TRICKORMATE's Avatar
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    ya what he said. welcome to the forum
    Read my story.

    http://www.defensivecarry.com/vbulle...ed-1994-a.html

    Pictures in page 5 & 6

  8. #7
    Member Array marcodo's Avatar
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    A lot of experts here will give you good advice.

    My own personal thought would have been to step away initially and call 911.

    If you must confront him do it at a safe distance and from a direction you can flee if needed.

    Let him know the police have been notified and are on the way.

    Make sure you notice a description of the person and the direction they flee.

    I have no issues with the hand on the gun as long as it stays in the holster until you are "scared for your life"

    You do not have to pull out the gun for it to be brandishing but I don't think this was it.

    I would avoid detaining anyone particularly if the threat may be considered under gun point. I still do not think you have anything to worry about.

    You did what you thought was right at the time...there is no changing it.

    Thats why we have forums like this to allow us to have a knowledge base to act upon when caught off guard

    I think you did fine...no one got hurt and you got your bike back...doesn't end much better than that

  9. #8
    Distinguished Member Array Rugergirl's Avatar
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    I'm not sure what SC considers "brandishing", but by Michigan law you would be fine as long as you weren't "waving it in a threatening manner".
    As far a a kidnapping charge I don't see how they could make that stick, no telling if a holstered gun is loaded or even a real gun.
    I wouls stop to consider who is telling you that you could be charged with anything. If this someone in law enforcement or employeed by the courts?
    If it's just a man on the street type without a legal background, I doubt I would worry about it much, if at all. If you are really concerned I'd get a copy of the report and talk with the officer involved. Just a friendly chat sort of thing and ask his opinion of how you handled the situation. He was there and should be able to advise you on how his particular department views your situation.
    Disclaimer: The posts made by this member are only the members opinion, not a reflection on anyone else, nor the group, and should not be cause for anyone to get their undergarments wedged in an uncomfortable position.

  10. #9
    Member Array IssaquahWA19's Avatar
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    who told you that you would be arrested or charged, the police or some idiot that you work with? I cannot see how you could have done it better, you did not brandish as you never pulled out of the holster. I would have done the same in fact I think you handled it remarkably well. But then again this is just my opinion :-)

  11. #10
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I would have done the same thing,who is telling you that your looking at charges,You stopped a crime in progress,IE the theft of your bike, failure to act could have resulted in further damage to the ignition system,You had every right to believe that the guy may be armed and may do anything to prevent being arrested,
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

  12. #11
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    As a former VA resident I will say that I'm 99.999% sure you're good. Who has told you of possible charges? The police or some of your co-workers? As a plus for you a screw driver could be used as a deadly weapon so there is almost no chance of a brandishing charge.

    Nice job by the way!
    Mark Twain:
    The government is merely a servant -- merely a temporary servant; it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and decide who is a
    patriot and who isn't. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them.

  13. #12
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    Nice job and welcome, in Utah, you can make a citizens arrest for a felonly, and that would definately qualify. I think you handled the situation and yourself perfectly. Good job
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
    Thomas Jefferson

  14. #13
    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    If you are that concerned, I recommend you consult an attorney.

    IMO--you did nothing wrong, but I'm not a lawyer (INAL), just another someone who wants to keep his stuff from being stolen by theives....
    Magazine <> clip - know the difference

    martyr is a fancy name for crappy fighter
    You have never lived until you have almost died. For those that have fought for it, life has a special flavor the protected will never know

  15. #14
    VIP Member Array wmhawth's Avatar
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    I believe you did OK and had a bit of luck as well. I do hope you would not be inclined to draw and fire your gun if he had tried to run away.

  16. #15
    Member Array j.a.magnum's Avatar
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    It's interesting that he decided to stick around. As I've thought about scenarios like this, I've come to the conclusion that I would have no problem interrupting a crime in progress. But I don't think I would attempt to hold or take someone into custody. I would make it clear that I was calling the authorities. But since I'm not going to actually shoot someone in the back as they run away, I won't attempt to detain. I guess if they are dumb enough to stick around, that's their problem.

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