Good citizens - Citizen arrest

This is a discussion on Good citizens - Citizen arrest within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by kazzaerexys If you do, you know what you've done? You've just performed... a citizen's arrest ! Seriously, citizen's arrest doesn't mean anything ...

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Thread: Good citizens - Citizen arrest

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by kazzaerexys View Post
    If you do, you know what you've done? You've just performed...a citizen's arrest!

    Seriously, citizen's arrest doesn't mean anything like Mirandizing, handcuffing, or anything else particularly formal. It means you are trying to apprehend somebody in the commission of a crime. It's what you'd be doing anytime you draw your gun but don't shoot, really. Heck, it's what you do if you did shoot the guy but only wounded him.

    Granted, I don't ever expect to explain to somebody that I am 'arresting' him, but if I yell, "Don't move, hole, I'm calling the police!" it's what I am doing nonetheless...
    No sir, detaining and arresting are two separate and distinct acts that the law recognizes as separate and distinct. They are certainly not the same! When I was a LEO I detained many more persons than I arrested!
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  3. #17
    Member Array JAG45's Avatar
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    It varies from state to state, but in most states when you detaining someone, that is restrain their free movement then you have arrested them. You may later let them go without charges, but technically you arrested them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JAG45 View Post
    It varies from state to state, but in most states when you detaining someone, that is restrain their free movement then you have arrested them. You may later let them go without charges, but technically you arrested them.
    I am still looking for legal definitions in my state for a private citizen detaining a subject or suspect, but with regard to "detention" and "arrest", Nevada does in fact address both with distinction. The law in Nevada does not view "detaining" as being the same as "taking in to custody" and that is the key distinction. Also, a Private Citizen would not be held to a higher standard than the Peace Officer but a Private Citizen does not have Police powers of arrest. It may be that they do not have Police Powers to detain as well... still checking!


    NRS 171.104 Arrest defined; by whom made. An arrest is the taking of a person into custody, in a case and in the manner authorized by law. An arrest may be made by a peace officer or by a private person.
    (Added to NRS by 1967, 1400)

    NRS 171.126 Arrest by private person. A private person may arrest another:
    1. For a public offense committed or attempted in his presence.
    2. When the person arrested has committed a felony, although not in his presence.
    3. When a felony has been in fact committed, and he has reasonable cause for believing the person arrested to have committed it.
    (Added to NRS by 1967, 1402)

    NRS 171.123 Temporary detention by peace officer of person suspected of criminal behavior or of violating conditions of parole or probation: Limitations.
    1. Any peace officer may detain any person whom the officer encounters under circumstances which reasonably indicate that the person has committed, is committing or is about to commit a crime.
    2. Any peace officer may detain any person the officer encounters under circumstances which reasonably indicate that the person has violated or is violating the conditions of his parole or probation.
    3. The officer may detain the person pursuant to this section only to ascertain his identity and the suspicious circumstances surrounding his presence abroad. Any person so detained shall identify himself, but may not be compelled to answer any other inquiry of any peace officer.
    4. A person must not be detained longer than is reasonably necessary to effect the purposes of this section, and in no event longer than 60 minutes. The detention must not extend beyond the place or the immediate vicinity of the place where the detention was first effected, unless the person is arrested.
    (Added to NRS by 1969, 535; A 1973, 597; 1975, 1200; 1987, 1172; 1995, 2068)
    ALWAYS carry! - NEVER tell!

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  5. #19
    Member Array tngunner's Avatar
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    situation FUBAR on citizens arrest

    A friend of mine owns a car wash and he was working inside on some equipment one night and heard the change machine running continuously, the machine is designed to quit after 10.00. he goes outside and sees one inividual "fishing" the machine with a dummy bill. the other perp was in the vehicle waiting a little ways away. said friend called 911 and told them what he was seeing. said friend informed 911 that he was armed (glock .45 cal) they told him not to do anything foolish, wait for police. said friend told perp to freeze that he had a gun aimed at his head. perp turned and pulled a knife from his pocket and lunged at the guy. perp was approx. 15 feet away. said friend fired and hit perp in left collar bone area. second perp fled scene. the perp with a knife falls down to the ground and said friend kept a bead on the perp. a few seconds later the police shows up and detains said friend and weapon. did investigation and returned gun. police were slightly aggitated at the scene but ruled protection of property and self-defense. perps were arrested and linked to a theft ring of over 20,000.00 in two states. said friend had to fill out an lengthy report. nothing more said.

  6. #20
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    My training from my private security days, a citizens arrest can be made in MI if the citizen witnesses a felony. A private security guard has only the same arrest authority as any private citizen. That said, we were told to detain for police to make the arrest. Making the arrest means providing evidence to a DA for prosecution. I wouldn't even know how to start doing that. There are few scenarios I can think of where I'd even consider detaining a suspect for PD as joe normal guy.
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  7. #21
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    When I was an armored car driver and carried a weapon the governing agency was The Personal Protection Agency it was drilled into our brains that there was no such thing as a Citizens Arrest in the State of North Carolina.
    Quote Originally Posted by ibez View Post
    Anyone here ever did a citizen-arrest ?

    If you have , please state if you're/were a LEO

    because if you did a citizen-arrest in the Commie-wealth of Massa-chusetts using a weapon, and you are NOT A LEO, theres a 99.9% chance you will lose your License.
    Its like they don't want you to be a good neighbor.

    If the regular citizen illiminate crime, then that will also illiminate some of the unnecessary LEOs jobs.

    Massa-chusetts "may-issue" you a License, but they watch you like a prey waiting for you to give them a reason to revoke.


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  8. #22
    Distinguished Member Array kazzaerexys's Avatar
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    Arrest vs. Detention

    Quote Originally Posted by Thumper View Post
    No sir, detaining and arresting are two separate and distinct acts that the law recognizes as separate and distinct. They are certainly not the same! When I was a LEO I detained many more persons than I arrested!
    Thanks for pulling up the Nevada laws, Thumper, but I think you are actually helping to make my point. First off, I have no doubt that your LEO background clearly instilled in you the difference between a detention and an arrest. And since I have been pulled over without getting a ticket before, I am profoundly grateful that not every LEO detention is an arrest.

    But the Nevada laws only describe arrest by citizen, not detention by citizen, and that was the crux of my point---if I, as Average Joe, detain somebody, then I basically have to meet the arrest criteria, essentially, caught him in the act. Because if I can't articulate that incredibly good reason for holding the guy at gunpoint (or locking him in a restroom or in any other way restricting his movements), what I have done is committed an act of false imprisonment or kidnapping.

    There is a whole chapter in Ayoob's book, In the Gravest Extreme, on citizen's arrest, and this is basically the point he makes. (He also makes the point that it is generally a lousy idea. )

    Thanks to your post, I am going to go look and see if Maryland has any specific laws relating to citizen's arrest! (Tomorrow...)

  9. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by kazzaerexys View Post
    Thanks for pulling up the Nevada laws, Thumper, but I think you are actually helping to make my point. First off, I have no doubt that your LEO background clearly instilled in you the difference between a detention and an arrest. And since I have been pulled over without getting a ticket before, I am profoundly grateful that not every LEO detention is an arrest.

    But the Nevada laws only describe arrest by citizen, not detention by citizen, and that was the crux of my point---if I, as Average Joe, detain somebody, then I basically have to meet the arrest criteria, essentially, caught him in the act. Because if I can't articulate that incredibly good reason for holding the guy at gunpoint (or locking him in a restroom or in any other way restricting his movements), what I have done is committed an act of false imprisonment or kidnapping.

    There is a whole chapter in Ayoob's book, In the Gravest Extreme, on citizen's arrest, and this is basically the point he makes. (He also makes the point that it is generally a lousy idea. )

    Thanks to your post, I am going to go look and see if Maryland has any specific laws relating to citizen's arrest! (Tomorrow...)
    Yeah... I have to admit I think you're right.

    The fact that the law is essentially silent regarding "citizen detention" would lead me to believe that a citizen in Nevada can only legally "arrest". Or in other words and as you originally said if you detain, "You've just performed...a citizen's arrest".

    Here's to ya Kazz!
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  10. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by kazzaerexys View Post
    Because if I can't articulate that incredibly good reason for holding the guy at gunpoint (or locking him in a restroom or in any other way restricting his movements), what I have done is committed an act of false imprisonment or kidnapping.
    You beat me to it.

    I know of two people that have "detained" persons when they caught the persons in the act of committing the crime (one was vandalism, the other was theft - both on personal property - homeowners), and were promptly charged with kidnapping.
    Sticks

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  11. #25
    Senior Member Array CEW58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ibez View Post
    Anyone here ever did a citizen-arrest ?

    If you have , please state if you're/were a LEO

    because if you did a citizen-arrest in the Commie-wealth of Massa-chusetts using a weapon, and you are NOT A LEO, theres a 99.9% chance you will lose your License.
    Its like they don't want you to be a good neighbor.

    If the regular citizen illiminate crime, then that will also illiminate some of the unnecessary LEOs jobs.

    Massa-chusetts "may-issue" you a License, but they watch you like a prey waiting for you to give them a reason to revoke.
    Not a LEO, just an old soldier.

    The closest I ever came to making a citizen's arrest was stopping an assult that happened to be taking place in my front yard.

    Some guy and his girlfriend apparently were having some sort of a fight and wound up driving their pickup truck into my front yard. The guy then grabbed the girl by the hair, held her down in the front seat and started beating her over the head with a tire wrench.

    I happened to be outside cleaning up some storm debris when this happened, so I ran into the house and grabbed the phone and dialed 911 while getting my Ruger GP100. As I ran back outside I told the 911 operator what was going on and that I had armed myself. My nieghbor saw what was going on and did the same thing.

    Upon seeing myself and my neighbor exit our houses armed the guy released the girl and took off in the truck. By the time the police arrived we had already put our sidearms back our houses since the guy and the girl were long gone, but when they asked if we were the guys that had the guns we said "yes". That was good enogh for them.

    They then threatened to arrest both of us for brandishing firearms.

    The only thing that kept me and my neighbor out of jail that day was the fact that this had been witnessed by many of the neighbors who also happened to be outside cleaning up after a nasty Oklahoma thunderstorm and they started giving the police an earfull for threatening my neighbor and myself with arrest rather than looking for the BG and girl who was still in danger. The police insisted that we should have went into our houses, locked the doors and called 911. Period!

    Later my neighbor talked to a District Judge that he happened to know about the incident. He told my neighbor that we had acted correctly both morally and legally. He also asked for the names of the two police officers involved so he could have a little talk with them.

    Considering that I almost went to jail, would I do it all again? You bet!

    Somehow I cannot see myself hiding behind a locked door while some woman gets her brains beaten out in my front yard. Call me old fashioned if you like.
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  12. #26
    Distinguished Member Array kazzaerexys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thumper View Post
    Here's to ya Kazz!
    Thank you kindly, sir.

  13. #27
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Being curious about this concept which I'm pretty sure I'd never think to try nut under the most narrow of a given situation I decided to try and see what Google has to say about this as relevant to MA.

    The results I found were two fold being interesting and relevant to all US citizens...

    CONSTITUTIONAL BUSINESS
    Published By Citizens' Justice Programs
    Post Office Box 90, Hull, Massachusetts 02045

    Citizens' Arrest
    By David C. Grossack, Constitutional Attorney
    Common Law Copyright 1994
    All Rights Reserved

    ...Contrast this to Massachusetts law, which while permitting a private person to arrest for a felony, permits those acquitted of the felony charge to sue the arresting person for false arrest or false imprisonment. (See Commonwealth v. Harris, 11 Mass. App. 165 (1981))

    Kentucky law holds that a person witnessing a felony must take affirmative steps to prevent it, if possible. (See Gill v. Commonwealth, 235 KY 351 (1930.)

    Indeed, Kentucky citizens are permitted to kill fleeing felons while making a citizen's arrest (Kentucky Criminal Code 37; S 43, 44.)

    Utah law permits citizen's arrest, but explicitly prohibits deadly force. (See Chapter 76-2-403.)

    Making citizen's arrest maliciously or without reasonable basis in belief could lead to civil or criminal penalties. It would obviously be a violation of a suspect's civil rights to use excessive force, to torture, to hold in unsafe or cruel conditions or to invent a reason to arrest for the ulterior motive of settling a private score.

    Civil lawsuits against department stores, police departments, and even cult deprogrammers for false imprisonment are legend. Anybody who makes a citizens arrest should not use more force than is necessary, should not delay in turning the suspect over to the proper authorities, and should never mete out any punishment ... unless willing to face the consequences.

    The full article can be found at; http://www.constitution.org/grossack/arrest.htm
    citizen's arrest

    A citizen's arrest is an arrest performed by a person acting as a civilian, as opposed to a sworn law enforcement officer. In common law jurisdictions, the practice dates back to medieval England and the English common law, when sheriffs encouraged ordinary citizens to help apprehend law breakers.

    Legality

    Despite the title, the arresting person does not usually have to be a citizen of the country where he/she is acting, as they are usually designated as any person with arrest powers. In the USA, when performing a citizen's arrest it is advisable not to give a Miranda Warning or caution as this could be construed as impersonating a police officer[citation needed]; instead the arrestor should try to remember and tell the police officers anything the detained person has said.[citation needed]

    ...

    United States

    All states other than North Carolina permit citizen arrests if a felony crime is witnessed by the citizen carrying out the arrest, or when a citizen is asked to help apprehend a suspect by the police. The application of state laws varies widely with respect to misdemeanor crimes, breaches of the peace, and felonies not witnessed by the arresting party. Note particularly that American citizens do not have the authorities or the legal protections of the police, and are strictly liable before both the civil law and criminal law for any violation of the rights of another.[6] In the United States, the police do not have to determine the legality of the citizens arrest and this practice has been greatly criticized[citation needed]

    North Carolina General Statutes do not provide for citizen arrest, but instead provide for detention by private persons.[7] These statutes apply both to civilians and to police officers outside their jurisdiction. Citizens and police may detain any person who they have probable cause to believe committed in their presence a felony, breach of the peace, physical injury to another person, or theft or destruction of property. The key distinction between an arrest and a detainment is that the detainee may not be transported without their consent.

    Legal and political aspects

    A person who makes a citizen's arrest could risk exposing themselves to possible lawsuits or criminal charges (such as charges of impersonating police, false imprisonment, kidnapping, or wrongful arrest) if the wrong person is apprehended or a suspect's civil rights are violated.

    The level of responsibility that a person performing a citizen's arrest may bear depends on the jurisdiction. For instance, in France and Germany, a person stopping a criminal from committing a crime, including crimes against belongings, is not criminally responsible as long as the means employed are in proportion to the threat (note, however, that at least in Germany this results from a different legal norm: "self-defense" and "aid to others in immediate danger"—which are concerned with prevention not prosecution of crimes).

    Personal safety

    The act of making an arrest may be dangerous in several senses. First and foremost is the likelihood that the arrest will be resisted, possibly with force or even a weapon. Further, the typical private person is not trained or equipped to carry out an arrest safely—even security guards who are familiar with citizen's arrest may lack sufficient training. As well, many legal jurisdictions consider the citizen's arrest to be a special case where any mistake by the arresting party may result in civil or criminal liability. Excessive force may result in criminal charges against the arresting party.

    In areas where police services are available, anyone witnessing a serious crime is usually advised for their own safety to notify the police rather than attempting direct intervention. Even if intervention is attempted, the safest objective may be to scare off the assailant or criminal rather than to attempt to take them into custody. In addition, it is also advised that anyone witnessing a crime also focus on trying to remember as much detail as possible such as the appearance of the criminal in order to supply the police with information.

    The source can be found at; http://www.answers.com/topic/citizen-s-arrest
    The bottom line, upon reading the above and a few other citiations pretty much all stating same the situation would have to be extremely narrow and dire for me to think to _attempt_ to 'arrest' a person.
    At a minimum the crime would have to be a felony and not some relatively minor property crime/theft or some such. Even as a felony which in MA is a whole host of items it still would have to be such an egregious act that to let the person go would be an immediate danger to the public to the point that I'd be acting negligently to not attempt to slow/delay if not stop the person from removing him/her self before the authorities show up. An example of this would include a person acting in a pedophile way _actively_ against a child. Or say a person who has gained the upper hand against a LEO and is now attempting to flee ala the Liko Kenney situation.

    Beyond that, nah I'm not tusslin' with nobody to stop them from stealing whatever from wherever even if it might be my own property and/or home.
    To do so is not worth the trouble and future expense including potential loss of state law enforced freedoms.

    - Janq
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  14. #28
    Ex Member Array ibez's Avatar
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    Interesting JANG
    thanks for all the law references


    I see all the time on the new and other media videos about people trying to rob stores or rob cashiers and they get into a fight with the cashier and then other shoppers apprehend, beat-down or hold the perpetrator until security/LEO arrives

    I wonder what happen to those patrons/samaritans .... (?)

    Since im in Massachusetts, I never ever consider doing an arrest or even interfering with a guy robbing a store/business.

    .

  15. #29
    Distinguished Member Array kazzaerexys's Avatar
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    Good info, Janq.

    For me, about the only reason I could think to perform a citizen's arrest is in a situation where I found it necessary to pull a gun (which by itself pretty much means somebody is attempting to commit a felony in my presence, and most likely against me!) and the BG's immediate change of behavior convinces me that pulling the trigger is not necessary.

    Well, then, I have a badguy at gunpoint and if he doesn't try to run away at that point, I guess I am detaining him until police show up. If it happens in North Carolina, I will make sure not to march the BG down to the police station, though!

  16. #30
    Member Array soundwave's Avatar
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    One thing I think many people are forgetting (including past/present LEOs) is that private citizens are not government agents. Every rule and regulation that exists for law enforcement officers do not apply to private citizens because the citizen is not acting on behalf of the government so the citizen is not bound to the search and seizure laws. They are, however, bound to all the normal laws. And the distinction between detainment and arrest is part of common law on a reasonable seizure.

    It can be reasonable to seize (e.g. arrest) someone temporarily (e.g. detainment) due to various factors like presence at a crime scene, suspicious behavior or officer safety. However, it is still an arrest because the officer is restricting the free movement of the person. The distinction is that it is reasonable to temporarily arrest the person for a specific, articulable reason for investigation or safety purposes even if they are let go at a later time. But their movement is still arrested (e.g. stopped).

    Depending on your state, you may have little or no laws that provide justification for a citizen's arrest. I would imagine that on the east and west coasts those laws are very restrictive because of the high population and proliferation of politicians who believe that they "know whats best for the people" to keep them from hurting themselves. More states with a lot more rural populations will probably have stronger citizen's arrest laws on the books.

    In my state, Arizona, it's pretty clear cut. You have the right to arrest someone in my state if someone commits a misdemeanor in your presence that amounts to a breach of peace or that has committed or you have reasonable belief that the person is committing a felony. Breach of peace is a really loose term that could be anything from being disorderly because they're drunk, trespassing or anything that is likely to interrupt or interfere with the reasonable "enjoyment" of being... Well, left alone. The felony thing is pretty easy to understand.

    I personally would possibly actually arrest someone on those terms, if needed. I would have no compunction to arrest someone that was trespassing on my property if they won't leave and hold them there until a LEO arrives. I would have no problem with arresting someone that was committing a serious felony in my presence, either. I would, however, have a problem with that "reasonable belief" part of someone who had already committed a felony, though. I would have to be really, really sure they did it or I'd probably just report it.

    Keeping them there wouldn't be a problem, either. I already have handcuffs, but not necessarily for that specific purpose.

    Cheers.
    "The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subjected people to carry arms; history shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subjected people to carry arms have prepared their own fall." Adolf Hitler

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