"Citizen Arrest, Citizen Arrest"

"Citizen Arrest, Citizen Arrest"

This is a discussion on "Citizen Arrest, Citizen Arrest" within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Kicking backwhile doing my nighty aerobicics; working out my thumb channel surfing and weight lifting a glass or two of DJ on the rocks. As ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array Trader's Avatar
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    Talking "Citizen Arrest, Citizen Arrest"

    Kicking backwhile doing my nighty aerobicics; working out my thumb channel surfing and weight lifting a glass or two of DJ on the rocks. As I hit the channels, there was Barny and Gomer. Gomer was yelling out to Barny, "Citizen arrest, citizen arrest" to Barnie for making a u-turn on main street. I have watched this episode many times and it still bring a smile to my lips.

    But watching the above brings up a couple of real modern day legal questions:

    1. You get involved in a situation where you have taken control over the BG. You may have him/her looking doem the barrel of you gun (or not) and the police have been called to respond. Do we have the legal right to detain or hold a bg against his will until the LEO arrives on scene.

    2. All my life heard of " Citizen Arrest" as Gomer yelled out to Barnie. As a U.S. citizen,non LEO, do we have arresting power recongized by our legal system? If so, what is the excepted guidlinesby LEO's/legal community regarding, "Citizen Arrest, Citizen Arrest"


  2. #2
    New Member Array G26man's Avatar
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    Regarding #1, I'd say no. If the BG decides to just walk away you certainly cannot shoot him, and I'd question the wisdom of trying to detain him via physical force now that he knows you are armed and can make a grab for your weapon. I get a chuckle every time I hear of a GG holding a BG at gunpoint until police arrive, luckily there are lots of BGs out there who either don't know the law, or don't want to take the chance that YOU don't know the law!

    #2 I have no idea

    BTW 1st post here, hello all!

  3. #3
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    G26 welcome

    This cropped up in a thread recently - one of mine I think.

    Indeed - if BG decides to depart - no way can we shoot unless under threat. If however he turned to go and produced a piece then - different ball game!

    We also decided that close contact and attempts at restraint were also probably potentially bad news. Certainly not on our own.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Array rfurtkamp's Avatar
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    Here, it's legal in the event of a felony. You can't detail for misdemeanor.
    Driver carries less than $45 worth of remorse.

  5. #5
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    I was told to not do a "citizen's arrest" because I would be in some part legally responsible for the BG - as an example, if I arrested a guy for beating someone up and relatives of the victim showed up and then started pounding on the guy, I'd be responsible for the wellbeing of the BG, especially should he get injured or killed on my watch. If someone can clarify on this, I'd appreciate it.
    "Americans have the will to resist because you have weapons. If you don't have a gun, freedom of speech has no power." - Yoshimi Ishikawa

  6. #6
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    It depends on the locality and the laws are all different.

    Where I'm at, its a fairly common practice for a citizen to apprehend BG that is caught in the act of doing something. If the BG refuses to cooperate, he can be charged with resisting arrrest. It must be a felony though.

    I've responded to several calls over the years where a homeowner caught someone in the act of burgulary and had the BG proned out and held at gunpoint. Its important to call 911 and tell them exactly what has transpired, who you are, location, what you are wearing, gun being used and any other pertinient info that might help an officer reconize who is who when they get there.

    I've been backup on other calls that have had acts of violence commited and bodily harm done and the offender was being held by someone at gunpoint.

    You must be prepared to defend your actions in court as they will come under scrutiny.
    As far as I can remember, all of the cases turned out good...meaning that the citizen was praised for doing the right thing and the offenders went to jail.

    Its important to be sure that you are "doing the right thing" here. A citizen that makes an arrest that is considered "trivial" is opening himself up to lawsuits and possibly other charges that may include brandishing a weapon, unlawful detainment, assault with a weapon and several others.

    Betty is correct. You are responsible for the welfare of any BG while he is under your arrest. For instance, if you catch a rapist in the act of raping your 5 year old neighbor and her dad finds out and beats him to death with a ballbat while you have him at gunpoint you can be charged with aiding and abetting a murder.

    You are responsible for the saftey and wellbeing of anyone that you arrest. If ANYTHING happens to them under your watch, even if it is accidental and unintended, you are liable.

    That is the very reason that most LEO's and 911 operators will discourage someone from effecting a citizens arrest. Its for liablity reasons and to protect the citizen that more than likely dosent know how the law applies in that case. Most scumsucking laywers will try to crucify anyone that trys it and use it as an excuse to free their client even if everything was done in strict accordance with the law.

    If you need to do a citizens arrest, make sure you know how the law deals with it in your area. In some places its a no-no, in others its an accepted practice. What may work in one state might get you thrown in jail with a record that will haunt you the rest of your life in another state.

    Just make DANGED sure you know what you are doing. If you are less than sure, use the cellphone, keep and eye on them and lead the cops to the sitation and let them deal with the issue. It keeps you out of the legal issues .

  7. #7
    Member Array sarhog's Avatar
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    Question

    Ok, so let's say you just caught a bad guy beating the crap out of your nieghbor, the neighbor's life was in danger, and you draw your weapon (justifyably). :chairshot

    The bad guy immediately steps away from the victim and drops to his knees with his hands up. You tell the bad guy not to move, the jig is up, the cops are coming, etc. The victim runs inside and calls 911.

    While waiting for the cops to show, the bad guy slowly stands up and starts backing AWAY from you (in a non-threatening manner), heading for his car which is parked on the street.

    There isn't anything you can legally do to stop him.
    Can you shoot him? :AR15firin NO
    Can you shoot his car? NO
    Are you going to holster or set down the weapon and get in a physical altercation? :fight: NO

    I guess all you can do (legally) is verbally threaten him (which ain't working) and follow him until the cops arrive.

    Are there any lawyers on this board? Can you/should you use OC spray in a situation such as this?

    Comments?
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  8. #8
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    I am not a lawyer, LEO nor have law training! When we carry a firearm as in concealed carry we are not sworn police officers. We have no duty to become involved in other disgusting bad things going on around us unless we desire to pay the price. Carrying is for our defense, to protect our life. I say all of this in a humble way so please no flame, thank you.
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  9. #9
    Distinguished Member Array Anubis's Avatar
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    my view

    I'm neither an attorney nor a LEO; having a CWP, of course I have thought about this. I am familiar enough with the local deadly-force laws to be certain there are very few situations in which applying deadly force is legal for me---basically if the BG is applying or is threatening deadly force against someone else. There's lots of details in the laws, like OK to stop a rape, but that's the essence.

    If the "someone else" is a stranger and I arrive in the middle of a situation where I don't know how it began, who the parties are, etc., I will stay out of it.

    If the "someone else" is me or someone very important to me, such as my spouse or child, and there's no neutrals in my target zone, I draw and shoot ASAP. No verbal warnings, no attempts at arrest (the BG can allege he's innocent of wrong-doing and charge me with felony menacing either way). If I couldn't imagine a circumstance where I would definitely shoot, I would not carry a firearm.

    I am not a belligerent fool. I haven't been in any kind of altercation since elementary school, decades in the past. I will only use force in a life-or-death situation and it will be the maximum force available to me. For me, anything else like arresting or detaining has consequences too unknown for me to think of attempting such alternatives.

  10. #10
    Member Array sarhog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FortyFive
    I am not a lawyer, LEO nor have law training! When we carry a firearm as in concealed carry we are not sworn police officers. We have no duty to become involved in other disgusting bad things going on around us unless we desire to pay the price. Carrying is for our defense, to protect our life. I say all of this in a humble way so please no flame, thank you.
    I appreciate and support your decision. I agree, that we (armed private citizens) are not LEOs and have no "special powers" or "privileges". That being said, if my next door neighbor, who is a close friend, is being beaten by a thug, I'm going to intervene. It is legally justified and I am morally obligated to do so.

    Quote Originally Posted by lt8tmgya
    If the "someone else" is me or someone very important to me, such as my spouse or child, and there's no neutrals in my target zone, I draw and shoot ASAP. No verbal warnings, no attempts at arrest (the BG can allege he's innocent of wrong-doing and charge me with felony menacing either way).
    What if a neutral IS in the line of fire? What if, while trying to get a "clean shot" so to speak, the bad guy drops to his knees and "gives up"? Then, while waiting for the cops, he decides to leave the scene? That's my question.

    I think that, legally speaking, if you don't immediately drop the bad guy before he "gives up", you've missed your "window of opportunity" and are now relegated to being a good witness and following him if possible.

    I recently attended a "force on force" class using simunitions, and you would be surprised how many situations end up with you drawing down on someone who is threatening you and then ceasing aggressive behavior before you shoot them.
    I'm sure we all agree that any set of circumstances that allows you to draw your weapon also allows you to fire your weapon, but sometimes between the "draw" and the "fire", the situation changes...and you have to re-think your response.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member
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    sarhog-good reasonable response thanks. You have the training to backup your comments and that makes it even better. Who can really say what will happen in our life or moment of stress and trying to be a good neighbor. It is good we are able to talk these things out here in the safety of our home and have benifit of many good members who can steer things in the right direction.
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  12. #12
    Member Array Puppage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfurtkamp
    Here, it's legal in the event of a felony. You can't detail for misdemeanor.
    In CT, if the BG is found innocent, YOU can be charged with any number of things including illegal restraint/detainment, etc.
    "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to
    rule." - H.L. Mencken

  13. #13
    Member Array LPguy's Avatar
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    This info may be getting old now. But I spent 11 years in retail security ( catching shoplifters )

    In effect, I was making citizen arrests.

    A few things to keep in mind.

    If you wrongfully detain a suspect YOU are the BG so be dam sure before you try that.

    Betty is right, YOU are responsible for the safety of the suspect once you detain him/her

    The Police arrive and YOU are holding the gun on an unarmed person( supposedly you have disarmed the sispect by now ) what do you think is going through the officers mind? "DROP THE GUN NOW!"

    I submit that sarhog is also right. We carry for our own personal protection. Be very wary of getting involved in disputes between others. I've had my share of those in the stores over the years and you never know when you arrive who is REALLY the bad guy till the matter is sorted out. If you pull your gun to protect the one losing the confrontation, you may be drawing on and undercover LEO.

    Are there situations that demand you do something? YES! But, be very very careful.....

  14. #14
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    While you may leagally be able to Arrest someone commiting a felony, better to observe, defend and report. Anything more is gonna be way more trouble for ya. Look how much force /officers it takes to take someone down for a police arrest.

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