On November 28, 2022, two men were involved in a car chase with College Park, GA Police. They crashed the stolen car into a bus stop, ending the chase. Police were able to capture one of the men quickly, but his accomplice escaped on foot.
While making his escape, the accomplice was witnessed running with a gun through the parking lot of a nearby food bank by a volunteer who reported it to the Food Bank Manager.
The manager retrieved his firearm and confronted the suspect in the parking lot. He told the man to get on his knees and put his hands up. The manager reported that the man was not showing one hand and was gradually moving his hand toward his gun.
At that moment, a College Park Police Officer can be seen on surveillance video arriving on the scene to make the arrest.
The two men will be charged with obstruction, and the suspect who was captured at the scene of the crash will face additional charges of theft and criminal property damage.
It can be assumed that the police officer in pursuit of the suspect knew what the suspect he was chasing looked like in this situation and would not have mistaken the Food Bank Manager for a “bad guy.” However, in situations where this may not be the case, any armed citizen holding a suspect for the police risks not only being harmed by the criminal but being mistaken for a criminal and shot by police.
Every situation is different, but armed citizens have no obligation to hold suspects for police, putting themselves in danger of injury or death not only at the hands of the criminal but possibly even by the police. It seems logical that one should not seek to enter into a situation such as this, but rather should be mentally prepared in the event they are thrust into a similar situation by circumstances.