"Citizen's Arrest"?

This is a discussion on "Citizen's Arrest"? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by aznav Mods - please move if in the wrong forum. I hear this bantered about from time to time. a. Is there ...

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Thread: "Citizen's Arrest"?

  1. #61
    Member Array calmp9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aznav View Post
    Mods - please move if in the wrong forum.

    I hear this bantered about from time to time.

    a. Is there really such a thing?
    b. Guessing it's state by state.
    c. How is it used?
    d. What are its basic limits?

    Thanks!
    When I read about citizen's arrest in a CCW forum, I immediately think that somebody wants to play policeman just because he or she has a CCW permit. Next thing is the concealed carry permit holder badge.
    "[A]rms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. . . Horrid mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them."

    - Thomas Paine, Thoughts On Defensive War, 1775

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  3. #62
    Distinguished Member Array razor02097's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by calmp9 View Post
    When I read about citizen's arrest in a CCW forum, I immediately think that somebody wants to play policeman just because he or she has a CCW permit. Next thing is the concealed carry permit holder badge.
    but its a legit thing to discuss. Like things to think about. Having a CCW doesn't make you special until your in a court room explaining why you held the poor innocent rapist at gun point till the police showed up.
    There is something about firing 4,200 thirty millimeter rounds/min that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

  4. #63
    Ex Member Array Treo's Avatar
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    When I read about citizen's arrest in a CCW forum, I immediately think that somebody wants to play policeman just because he or she has a CCW permit. Next thing is the concealed carry permit holder badge.
    And then some one starts talking about sheepdogs (and other delusions of granduer)

  5. #64
    Member Array Mike78's Avatar
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    According to Montana statutes it is legal here.

    46-6-502. Arrest by private person. (1) A private person may arrest another when there is probable cause to believe that the person is committing or has committed an offense and the existing circumstances require the person's immediate arrest. The private person may use reasonable force to detain the arrested person.
    (2) A private person making an arrest shall immediately notify the nearest available law enforcement agency or peace officer and give custody of the person arrested to the officer or agency.
    TheShadow:
    True but: Having embalming fluid in your system is gotta be worse

  6. #65
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Mike it's an item on the books as being 'legal' in most every state of the US.

    Requirement though is that your 'arrestee' comply to your request/demand, which in no state I'm aware of mandates as much.
    Further as a citizen unlike a police you are not by statute provided police powers of arrest (which goes beyond allowance) nor judicial and/or civil protections against liability of action.

    There is more to it to know and think of than just looking up the statute and knowing the ability is technically existent.

    For example the statute cited has no specific definition as to what "probable cause" may or may not be.
    Your car alarm goes off mid day outside your home,parked on the street among other cars. You exit to investigate. You see a human standing near but not next to your car. He i not looking at it walking away. Does he meet the definition of "probable cause" so as to support by statute citizen arrest?
    In that moment is not the time to not know or be foggy about what is what. Ask any police they will tell you same as they deal with this and much more by profession.

    Below though is a case where a detention of a criminal worked and was proper as by 'Citizens Arrest' method. But note the key details of this story as related to how people generally think to look at the action of CA.

    Citizen's arrest, citizen's arrest!
    By Julie Cooper (Contact) | The Natchez Democrat
    Published Wednesday, February 3, 2010
    http://www.natchezdemocrat.com/news/...tizens-arrest/

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

  7. #66
    VIP Member Array MitchellCT's Avatar
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    With all the risks involved, I don't understand why people feel they are adequately trained, equipped and more importantly, insured for the task.

    Police, who spend months learning how to investigate, interrogate and interact with people without violating their rights in an educational setting and in service training, still get sued successfully for making bad calls, and injured at a frightening frequency.

    What about you?

    Sure you took a CCW class...and we all know how difficult those are and maybe a few other real classes involving some actual skill with a weapon.

    Maybe you are an MMA guy, and able to pound the snot out of most people short of a pro fighter or a soldier...but when you get shanked with a dirty needle, are you able to cover the hospital bills & medication?

    How up to date are you as to the laws on search and seizure?

    How sure are you that you can keep your actions from falling under the heading of unlawful restraint, assault, terrorist threats or manslaughter?

    If you get in trouble, who's got your back? Prepaid legal? The Armed Citizens Network? Your home owners umbrella policy?

    If you don't have to get involved in things, don't.

  8. #67
    Member Array rico68's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janq View Post
    Yeah, being a Loss Prevention 'agent/officer' as in direct on the job employ is not at all the same specific condition (per state to state variable laws) as that of being...
    Joe Blow walking along and finding a BG breaking into someones car or snatch & grab of a purse, only to have J.B. attempt to pull a 'Citizens Arrest'.

    From this 1/50th of the country, technically it is the same. Target, Best Buy, or any other store has no "arrest authority" to grant you as a loss prevention worker. The authority comes from the same place as it does for any other citizen Joe Blow. Again, every state is likely to be different.

  9. #68
    Member Array rico68's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MitchellCT View Post
    With all the risks involved, I don't understand why people feel they are adequately trained, equipped and more importantly, insured for the task.
    Amen. Given our legal system and everyone out to find a lawsuit, I wouldn't want to invite the trouble. ESPECIALLY if carrying a sidearm at the time. The 12 people who couldn't get out of jury duty would have a field day with that one.

  10. #69
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rico68 View Post
    From this 1/50th of the country, technically it is the same. Target, Best Buy, or any other store has no "arrest authority" to grant you as a loss prevention worker. The authority comes from the same place as it does for any other citizen Joe Blow. Again, every state is likely to be different.
    Thus my stated qualifier of "per state to state variable laws".
    Here in MA it is same.

    Loss prevention staff and store security have no powers by statute above that of Joe Blow citizen and are not deputized or any other manner of LEO type degree empowered...Even as they might wear a 'badge', have a baton and sport cop type/5.11 brand pants.

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

  11. #70
    Member Array Intrepid's Avatar
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    In Colorado, the law that allows me to detain shoplifters are the citizen's arrest statute:

    18-1-707 (7) Use of physical force in making an arrest or in preventing an escape
    "A private person acting on his own account is justified in using reasonable and appropriate physical force upon another person when and to the extent that he reasonably believes it necessary to effect an arrest, or to prevent the escape from custody of an arrested person who has committed an offense in his presence..." (continues on to define when deadly force may be used)

    Colorado also has a statute giving retailers civil/criminal immunity from certain charges if you are acting in good faith

    18-4-407 Questioning of person suspected of theft without liability
    "If any person triggers an alarm or a theft detection device as defined in section 18-4-417 (2) or conceals upon his person or otherwise carries away any unpurchased goods, wares, or merchandise held or owned by any store or mercantile establishment, the merchant or any employee thereof or any peace officer, acting in good faith and upon probable cause based upon reasonable grounds therefor, may detain and question such person, in a reasonable manner for the purpose of ascertaining whether the person is guilty of theft. Such questioning of a person by a merchant, merchant's employee, or peace or police officer does not render the merchant, merchant's employee, or peace officer civilly or criminally liable for slander, false arrest, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, or unlawful detention."

    I have to follow a company policy that is more strict than the law. I also wouldn't perform a citizen's arrest when I'm not working.

  12. #71
    Member Array MikeFontenot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Intrepid View Post
    I make detentions on a regular basis. I work in loss prevention and bring shoplifters back into my office until a LEO arrives.
    Intrepid, it seems to me that as part of your job, you have been forced to come to grips with the details of citizen's arrest (in Colorado). Most of us HAVEN'T, and I think that's a serious shortcoming in our preparation.

    I can imagine scenarios where I might be able to stop an attack on myself or my family, without my having to fire a shot. But to let the perp run away at that point, if I can REASONABLY and LEGALLY prevent it, seems to me to be irresponsible...the perp is then almost guaranteed to go pick another, more defenseless, target.

    The meat of the issue mostly boils down (IMO) to exactly HOW you can legally detain someone who obviously would rather not be detained.

    Given your experience, Intrepid, can you elaborate a bit on what YOU see as the limitations and practical issues of detaining someone (shoplifters, in your case)?

    Mike Fontenot

  13. #72
    Member Array MikeFontenot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Intrepid View Post
    I also wouldn't perform a citizen's arrest when I'm not working.
    Your job requires you to perform citizen's arrests on perps for less-serious crimes (shoplifting), compared to murder, attempted murder, assault, sexual assault, etc.

    I wouldn't even consider making a citizen's arrest of a shoplifter. But if a crime is serious enough, and if I can prevent the perp from trying to do the same thing to someone else, but without exposing myself to an unacceptable risk, then it seems to be the honorable and responsible thing to do. The issue is, exactly what is an acceptable risk, and how can the risk be minimized? Where are the thresholds?

    Mike Fontenot

  14. #73
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    Another point regarding arresting someone... once you do, you become legally responsible for that individual including their health and well being. Just something else to ponder!
    ALWAYS carry! - NEVER tell!

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  15. #74
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    Just to settle a small piece of the debate here, a LP guy at a retail store detains, not arrests. They do not transport anybody from the store premises against their will.

    I'd also bet that a lot of the detaining that they do is a voluntary basis. They might not tell the suspect that, but their is no requirement for them to.
    "Just blame Sixto"

  16. #75
    VIP Member Array chiefjason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rico68 View Post
    Be careful with this one. Don't just rely on the Webster's definition, go straight to your state's statutes. The above is NOT true in Minnesota. For legal purposes in MN they are just about the same. Here if a a "reasonable person believes they are not free to leave" you have arrested them. Arresting here doesn't have anything to do with charging someone. MN has a pretty liberal citizen's arrest situation for any public offense, all the way down to a petty misdemeanor if conducted in your view all the way up to a felony, even if just suspected.
    It was from a document issued by the NC Justice Academy, who also does most of the CCP stuff. It's the one linked in my earlier post. To quote,

    "Letís look at the sections of 15A-404 individually. First, in section (a) we learn that citizens may NOT arrest in North Carolina. This myth of a citizenís arrest is taught by television and the movies, but does not reflect reality here in our state. While citizen arrests may be legal in other jurisdictions, it is not available to us here. What can be done is a detention that is based on probable cause to believe that one of a limited number of crimes has been committed in your presence. A detention, like an arrest, is a seizure under the Fourth Amendment; but an arrest allows moving the arrestee without his consent to a judicial official. A detention is just that; the suspect is detained, and while he may not leave, he cannot be moved without his consent. It is essential that you understand this point. A detention is a seizure without movement of the suspect; an arrest is a seizure and involuntary movement of the suspect."

    And to clarify, don't think I'm looking for an opportunity to do this. But if I find myself in a situation with a BG, it's nice to know that I can detain, I just cannot move them. LEO's have to come to us. And I expect anyone that reads something on a national forum to compare it to their state, but I could have been clearer on that.

    Knowledge is power, it's the power to choose between your options while knowing what is legal, not guessing.

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