Citizens Arrest

This is a discussion on Citizens Arrest within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I am not sure if this belongs here - feel free to relocate. I have read several account concerning Citizens Arrest in this section and ...

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Thread: Citizens Arrest

  1. #1
    Member Array wedoada's Avatar
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    Citizens Arrest

    I am not sure if this belongs here - feel free to relocate.

    I have read several account concerning Citizens Arrest in this section and then the debates on the issue that follows. In 26 years on the Police Department I never recall getting a call about a citizens arrest so I was curious what the laws were. I found some information that most may already know but I thought was relevant.

    From Answers dot com

    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.

    A link to the Constitution Society Guide to Citizens Arrest
    http://www.constitution.org/grossack/arrest.htm

    It appears that Felonies may be covered but each State sets their our Statutes on Misdemeanors.

    RandyW

    **Of course I'm not an attorney just some guy on line that can cut and paste - You should research the laws in your State.
    Last edited by wedoada; June 27th, 2007 at 11:28 PM. Reason: spelling
    ~ Randy W. -- G27 & LCP

    " If freedom is right and tyranny is wrong, why should those who believe in freedom treat it as if it were a roll of bologna to be bartered a slice at a time?" — Sen. Jesse Helms

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  3. #2
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    Array P95Carry's Avatar
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    Thx Randy - I think I will still hope to never have to try a citizen's arrest!

    These days too much red tape and litigious fallout.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


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  4. #3
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Key being if they are witness to a felony.
    As discussed n the other thread breaking into a garden shed does not meet the general requirement.
    Further states have laws toward this in specific and they can be quite specific.

    The concept of citizens arrst is not what people commonly think/assume it might be.

    - 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

  5. #4
    1943 - 2009
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    When I worked in hotel security in Portland, I made many citizen's arrests, mostly trespassing and prostitution related offenses. Oregon law allowed me to make a private person's arrest for a misdemeanor or felony committed in my presence. The law required me to take the arrestee "before a Magistrate" within a reasonable time. This requirement was met by turning the arrestee over to the Portland Police, either for booking into jail, or cite & release.

    No later than the next business day after the arrest, I was required to report to the District Attorney's office to sign the formal complaint, if the offense was a misdemeanor. If it was a felony, the Portland Police Detectives signed the complaint.

    Oregon law also authorized a private person to use reasonable force to make a lawful arrest, up to and including physical restraint (handcuffs).
    Last edited by Captain Crunch; June 28th, 2007 at 02:03 AM. Reason: Additional Information


    When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
    And the women come out to cut up what remains,
    Just roll to your rifle and blow out your brains,
    And go to your God like a soldier.

    Rudyard Kipling


    Terry

  6. #5
    Member Array wedoada's Avatar
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    Just to be REALLY clear....I am in NO WAY advocating it. I just keep hearing about it and wanted to research it a little to see if it was real or all hollywood.

    RandyW
    ~ Randy W. -- G27 & LCP

    " If freedom is right and tyranny is wrong, why should those who believe in freedom treat it as if it were a roll of bologna to be bartered a slice at a time?" — Sen. Jesse Helms

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    Member Array Erich's Avatar
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    I've had two cases on appeal in which a guy did a citizen's arrest and later got prosecuted for felony counts - and got convicted. I eventually got the first guy off on appeal (he's now a LEO) and the other one lost in the Court of Appeals and will hopefully be reviewed by the state supreme court.

    They both advise others to be profoundly careful with such situations. The first guy says he would never have tried to arrest the guys if he had known how it would eat up five years of his life and thousands and thousands of dollars of his livelihood.

    I can't overstress how risky this type of thing is. Contact a lawyer in your state to discuss it - do NOT rely on any ancient article on the internet.
    Last edited by Erich; June 28th, 2007 at 02:45 PM.

  8. #7
    VIP Member Array paramedic70002's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wedoada View Post
    All states other than North Carolina...
    So why is NC special?
    "Each worker carried his sword strapped to his side." Nehemiah 4:18

    Guns Save Lives. Paramedics Save Lives. But...
    Paramedics With Guns Scare People!

  9. #8
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paramedic70002 View Post
    So why is NC special?
    They aren't.

    Look into the specific of citizens arrest laws state to state and you'll find that in many if not most states the restrictions and conditions are extremely narrow.
    The statement by Answers.com is akin to how some will say all states allow for citizen concealed carry including Washington, D.C.
    But upon closer inspection of individual state and territory (D.C.) laws and practices one will find that the statement is in practice not exactly absolutely correct. Laws being on the books are one thing, but what those laws might be in specific and how they are enforced is wholly another.

    Many people think that citizens arrest is akin to running up on a person doing something bad, telling them to stop, and detaining them ('arrest') for purpose/intent of bringing the BG to justice.
    As it works out in the real and practical world things just don't work that way at all as detailed by other folks direct experiences above in this thread.
    It's critically important for one to be aware of their own local laws toward as much _and_ be prepared to be taken to task for their actions even if they were of the best in intent should they choose to go down this so called citizens arrest road inlieu of dialing 911 and leaving the cop work to the cops and being an excellent assistive witness.

    - 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

  10. #9
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    Can you Citizen's Arrest someone with Diplomatic Immunty?
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

  11. #10
    Member Array ttpete's Avatar
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    I wouldn't care to go there. One could wind up being prosecuted for kidnapping or something similar if the deal went sour. Security guards working for a company here in MI have arrest powers while on the employer's premises only.
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    Opinions expressed here are based upon Michigan state law ONLY. Other state laws may differ. Know and observe your local laws.

  12. #11
    Senior Member Array Smith&Wessonfan's Avatar
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    Why would anyone try a citizen's arrest?

    I can't think of any reason why I would want to. Someone attacking me? Meet force with higher force. Someone robbing my stuff? Either beat the living crap out of them or let them take some no-value stuff and call the cops.

    Someone attacking someone else? Again, if the assault does not rise to the level of deadly force, I wll just be a good witness. If the assault does rise to the level of deadly force, there is only one way to stop it and it is not with "Halt, put your hands up!".

  13. #12
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    Why would anyone try a citizen's arrest?
    People working as security in the hospitality/hotel industry (as I explained I was) and as security/loss prevention in the retail industry, just to name two examples, frequently must employ their private person's arrest powers in the course of their employment.

    Nobody is advocating that CWP holders go around arresting people. The OP was simply asking about citizen's arrest in general. Every citizen (except, apparently in NC) has the power to make an arrest for the commission of a crime committed in his/her presence, and to turn the arrested person over to LE authorities. But generally speaking, unless it's required by your job, it's not a good idea. As I'm sure you will agree, we're not cops.


    When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
    And the women come out to cut up what remains,
    Just roll to your rifle and blow out your brains,
    And go to your God like a soldier.

    Rudyard Kipling


    Terry

  14. #13
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Captn. Crunch,

    SWF is on target as this thread subject came about per comments made in another thread yesterday toward a citizen in the news to which folk here were talking of running off to citizen arrest evil doers and BGs they might see breaking into sheds and/or neighbors homes and cars.

    Very much agreed though, unless it's your profession to arrest people then it's not a good idea, and no we CWP are not at all cops.

    - 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

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    Senior Member Array Joshua M. Smith's Avatar
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    I would think that an attacker held at gunpoint while you're calling 911 would constitute an arrest of sorts... of course, the attacker has the option of running. One must be very careful about criminal confinement.

    On the other hand there was a drunk in a convenience store where a good friend works. He got up from the booth and tried to accost her after she told him to behave. I put him in an armlock (because the threat was imminent) and sat him down while she called the police. I guess that could be construed as an arrest as well.

    To my mind, a citizen's arrest is simply detaining a person if practical to do who has tried to cause you, or another, serious harm. If a person has just tried to kill me, there is no way he's going to be getting up off the ground to try again - I don't know if he has another weapon on him!

    This is all assuming he doesn't run and follows my orders to drop his weapon and get on the ground.

    This is the farthest I would ever go.

    Some dude on TV shouting "citizen's arrest! citizen's arrest!" while chasing some heavily armed gang member would not be an ideal model to follow.

    Josh <><

  16. #15
    Member Array dls56's Avatar
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    No two situations are exactly the same. Common sense should dictate what you do.
    Due to the fact that so many bad guys don't get caught, citizen arrests are quite tempting.
    I was involved in a pursuit after BG's once as a private citizen, they had stolen a generator out of the back of my truck. I was dogmatic about getting my generator and I succeeded, the police and the prosecutor both praised me for my tenacity, they also strongly advised against it in the future.
    Went in front of a grand jury in D.C. and my being indignant over questions posed to me by jurors attempting to justify why one of theirs was stealing from me resulted in my giving them a good tongue lashing, the U.S. attorney smiling from ear to ear and the bad guy finally taking a plea bargain so I wouldn't get a crack at him in court.
    Last edited by dls56; July 7th, 2007 at 09:34 AM. Reason: spelling

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