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Thread: Citizen's Arrest

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    It's going to vary a bit from state to state, but in Kentucky one could have PHYSICALLY stopped the man from harming her further, one COULD NOT draw their weapon. That situation would not fall under the Choice of Evils Defense we have here because drawing your weapon (threat of death) was a greater crime than the physical assault he was performing on her.

    Now if he had been attempting to rape her, deadly physical force would have been justified by statute.

    A gun is not something to hide behind, if one is able bodied and one can't handle physically restraining someone or a fist fight then leave one's gun at home before one ends up in prison for killing someone who wasn't armed.

  3. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Sunny South Florida
    Quote Originally Posted by Aresye View Post
    Here's the scenario:

    ... but the main thing I think is important is putting your gun away, so it's not out when the police arrive. ...
    Although I agree that this was not a proper weapon drawing scenerio, some other observations.

    If you DID draw your weapon in this scenerio, why are you in such a hurry to "put it away" before the cops come, are you planning on denying you ever drew a weapon?? If you drew it, then hold him at gunpoint and advise the 911 operator to advise the responding officers that you are holding a person at gunpoint. They will disarm you when they arrive.

    If you decide to holster your weapon and cuff him, well I think that may be called kidnapping and there is little doubt that he is not the one facing the long legal battle.

    If you feel justified in drawing, then you feel justified in maintaining that control (it would mean that you fear that if you lowered your response level your life would be in jeporady, since you felt your life may be in jeporady in the first place).

    If your plan in getting CCW was to play psudo cop, be careful ... you will find real LEO do not really appreciate that.

  4. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    South Carolina USA
    #1- I would NOT be at any party/place where drinking is going to be taking place. (Alcohol/Drugs and Guns Do NOT mix well; PERIOD!)

    #2- Ask "ANY" LEO; Getting involved in a domestic violence situation is among the most dangerous situations you can be in. I would not get involved unless I truly felt the woman's LIFE was in "immediate" peril.

    #3- Call 911 immediately and wait on the police to arrive. That is all.

  5. #14
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Be good witness. Make sure 911 is called. Keep your gun in the holster. The LEO's are correct: Domestic violence can do a 180 and the good guys getting shot.

    Finally...someone restraining an alleged perpetrator COULD be charged with "kidnapping"...think about has happened...

  6. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    TN, the patron state of shootin stuff
    There have been several good responses to the question raised. As for myself, I would not get involved unless someone’s life was in danger. If it was a shouting match I would do nothing. If it progressed and someone pulled out a Samurai sword and started chopping off arms, now that’s a different story. I know I could not stand by and watch while someone else was being killed or severely injured. There is a post on here about citizens helping out an LEO if he were to suddenly find himself out gunned or being attacked by BG’s. I think most of the ones that responded said they would help out if asked. Why not help your fellow citizen? Do you actually arrest them and hold for the police? Draw your gun and hope for the best? This could really put someone in a pickle and possibly shot by the responding police. Some interesting information I found at Constitution Society Home Page. Don’t know how it would play out with the politically correct media but this was published by the Citizens’ Justice Program in 1994. There is more information at What is a Citizens Arrest? Criminal Attorney News

    In the most crime ridden spot in the country, our nation's capitol, District of Columbia Law 23- 582(b) reads as follows:
    (b) A private person may arrest another -
    who he has probable cause to believe is committing in his presence -
    (A) a felony, or (B) an offense enumerated in section 23-581 (a)(2); or
    (2) in aid of a law enforcement officer or special policeman, or other person authorized by law to make an arrest.
    (c) Any person making an arrest pursuant to this section shall deliver the person arrested to a law enforcement officer without unreasonable delay. (July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 630, Pub. L. 91-358, Title II, 210(a); 1973 Ed., 23-582; Apr. 30, 1988, D.C. Law 7-104, 7(e), 35 DCR 147.)

    In Tennessee, it has been held that a private citizen has the right to arrest when a felony has been committed and he has reasonable cause to believe that the person arrested committed it. Reasonable grounds will justify the arrest, whether the facts turn out to be sufficient or not. (See Wilson v. State, 79 Tenn. 310 (1833).

    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.)

    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.)

    Legal Requirements for Making a Citizens Arrest
    The right to making a citizens arrest goes back to our roots in English common law. Historically, before the modern infrastructure of police departments, citizen’s arrests were an important part of community law enforcement. Today, citizens arrests are still legal in every state, although state laws pertaining to citizens arrests are not uniform. In general, all states permit citizens arrests if a criminal felony (defined by the government as a serious crime, usually punishable by at least one year in prison) is witnessed by the citizen carrying out the arrest, or if a citizen is asked to help apprehend a suspect by the police. Variations of state law arise in cases of misdemeanors, breaches of the peace, and felonies not witnessed by the arresting party.
    For example, California Penal Code mandates:
    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. (C.P.C. 837).
    In contrast, New York State Consolidated Laws hold that:
    Any person may arrest another person (a) for a felony when the latter has in fact committed such felony, and (b) for any offense when the latter has in fact committed such offense in his presence. (N.Y.C.L. 140.30).
    Unlike the California statute, which only permits citizens arrests in cases of felony, New York law extends the possibility for making a citizens arrest to any offense committed in [ones] presence. Additionally, in cases where the citizen has not necessarily witnessed the crime being committed, California law allows citizens arrests when a citizen has reasonable cause for believing the person arrested to have committed [a felony], whereas New York law applies only to situations in which person has in fact committed a felony. Distinctions such as these are important unwarranted citizens arrests can result in repercussions (such as law suits) for well-meaning citizens who attempt to make arrests without understanding local laws. It is important to be familiar with the laws in your particular state should you want to carry out a citizens arrest, or should a citizen try to unlawfully detain you.

    Anatomy of a Citizens Arrest
    Once a person has committed an offense meriting a citizens arrest (under the applicable state law), the arresting party must follow certain guidelines to detain and deliver to authorities the suspect in question. Acceptable guidelines for carrying out a citizens arrest also vary by state. In general, the arresting party must notify the suspect as to why he or she is being arrested, and may enter the building or private residence where the suspect is residing, using a reasonable amount of force to apprehend the suspect. In California, for example, To make an arrest, a private person, if the offense is a felony may break open the door or window of the house in which the person to be arrested is, or in which they have reasonable grounds for believing the person to be, after having demanded admittance and explained the purpose for which admittance is desired. (C.P.C., 844). In New York, A person may arrest another person for an offense at any hour of any day or night. 2. Such person must inform the person whom he is arresting of the reason for such arrest unless he encounters physical resistance, flight or other factors rendering such procedure impractical. 3. In order to effect such an arrest, such person may use such physical force as is justifiable pursuant to subdivision four of section 35.30 of the penal law. (N.Y.C.L. 140.35).
    Once the suspect has been taken into custody (by the citizen), it is the citizens responsibility to deliver the suspect to the proper authorities in a timely fashion. In California, A private person who has arrested another for the commission of a public offense must, without unnecessary delay, take the person arrested before a magistrate, or deliver him or her to a peace officer. (C.P.C. 847). In New York, a citizen must also act without unnecessary delay to deliver a suspect to an officer of the law. (N.Y.C.L. 140).

    Dangers of Making an Erroneous Citizens Arrest
    Making a citizen’s arrest maliciously or with insufficient evidence of wrongdoing by the arrested individual can lead to civil or criminal penalties. Additionally, it is in violation of a suspects rights for a citizen making an arrest to use unnecessary force, to intentionally harm the suspect, to hold the suspect in unsafe conditions, or to delay in turning the suspect over to authorities. A citizen making an arrest is acting in the place of an officer of the law, and as such, is required to uphold the same rights and civil liberties as an officer of the law must uphold.
    A citizen who violates a suspects rights, or who violates the applicable state law in detaining the suspect, (for example, arresting a suspect for a misdemeanor when the state statute requires a felony for a citizens arrest), risks being sued or even charged with a crime. Additionally, if it is found that the arresting party did not meet the pertinent state requirements for a citizens arrest, any contraband found on the suspect will have been found illegally, and charges may be dropped entirely.
    If you feel that you have been unfairly arrested by a citizen, or if you have been charged with illegally detaining a suspect during an illegitimate citizens arrest, it is important to seek the counsel of an experienced attorney. A good attorney will demonstrate familiarity with state laws, and as such will help you to ensure the best possible outcome of your case.
    Last edited by lukem; 01-16-2015 at 11:03 AM.

  7. Here's a real life situation that occured to me. I did not have a firearm with me but I would have still played it out the same way. I did have a knife.

    Leaving my neiborhood one afternoon when I see a lady running door to door with a man yelling at her. I realize she was a neighbor so I do a u turn and return back. As I return I see her running down a bike trail to the left of me with her husband to the right of my vehicle. I jump out and ask "What's is the problem", he replys "Who are you" , I reply, "Who do I need to be" while standing in the way of him from going after her. No physical contact was made. I tell him he needs to go back the opposite way and calm down and let her go and address him that the Sherriffs Dept. is on their way. He imediately changes tone with tears in his eyes and says how she is his wife of 15 years and she is crazy, bla,bla,bla. He turns to walk away , then turns back towards me and starts approaching me. I get into defense mode thinking here we go........he sticks his hand out and appologizes then thanks me and turns and walks away.

    I felt it was my duty to help this lady even though I didn't know her but knew she was my neaighbor. I did not know who the guy was only to find out later that it was her husband. I would have NEVER thought about pulling a gun/knife or whatever unless deadly force was being used against her or myself. The Sherriffs Dept. was never called.

  8. Lot of verbage going on here but really there's only one thing to ask yourself to make a decision...

    When the first officer arrives on the scene afterwards, or in a court of law, can you honestly say "I was in fear for my life".
    If not, then don't draw it.

    Anything else and you are playing a game of chance and circumstance.

  9. #18
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Cajun Land
    From the scenario you gave, the best response would be to have several of your buddies come running and corner the guy and take the lady into the home next door, and wait for Police. Then YOU call, 911 and say, he was trying to kill her, so we intervened and brought her next door. Always call, before the dirtbag husband calls. Leave the gun out of it, unless you are about to get hammered across the skull or something.

    As a retired LEO, I can tell you this. Domestic "Disturbances" can get real hairy and confusing for most cops. Much less the average everyday Joe who doesn't deal with them on a regular basis. What you see and hear ain't always the way it seems. I'd say help out if she really appears to be getting hurt, otherwise, do what you feel you have to do and help, but things can turn poisonous very quickly.
    The Police arrive, and all of a sudden, the victim is taking his side in the matter. Whether it's caused by alcohol, a controlling / abusive spouse, or just the freakin' weird way some people handle their marriage, you can bet you will probably end up on the losing end of the battle. How many times have I had to literally pull some worthless bastard off of his ol' lady and stop him from killing her, only to have her show up at the station 2 hours later, wanting to bail him out of jail and watch them walk away hand and hand. Then 2 days later, she shows up at the D.A.'s Office, wanting the charges dropped, and talking about how you were too rough on her husband when you arrested him.

    I say all of this to give you this one point. Call 911 and let the police handle it, and get involved only when you have to to save life. But I would rather intervene in an Armed Robbery than a domestic dispute.
    There's Something Goin' On Here, and it Ain't Funny!!!

  10. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Aresye View Post
    ... you hear a domestic disturbance next door that's pretty heated. A woman storms out of the house in a hurried fashion, followed by the husband. He grabs her arm, while yelling at her to get back in the house. She tries to free her arm, but can't. The man wrenches her arm in a painful way, attempting to drag her back into the house.

    Seeing both of you next door, watching the event, the woman screams for help. You tell your buddy to call 911, as you draw your concealed firearm. You tell the man very sternly to let her go, and to back away. The man complies, but now what?
    Call a lawyer as you may now need one.
    Ken Grubb
    Puyallup, WA

  11. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Aresye View Post
    I'm not advocating that CCW holders should have powers to arrest, but what would you do in the above situation after the man backs away?
    Assuming the situation justified deadly force, such as the assailant had a large knife, issued a verbal threat, and raised the knife high over his head as though he were about to stab the woman, after you obtained compliance from him, one could order him to the ground.

    Don't move
    Drop the weapon
    Raise your hands
    Face down, on the ground, hands straight out to your side, like an airplane

    If he complies, and stays there, you'd better danged sure have a cell phone with you and you'd best get calling.

    I'm an armed citizen and I have a concealed pistol license. I'm holding at gunpoint a man who tried to kill a woman.

    However, even then I would not attempt to cuff someone. No badge in your wallet? Then no cuffs in your pocket.
    Ken Grubb
    Puyallup, WA

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