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Posted: 12/4/2001 10:24:09 AM EDT
Now most of you, ok, all of you will be anything but well-versed on UT law as it applies here. I'm asking more for your common sense review of the following situation: Man 1 lives in a seedy apartment complex. He sees Man 2 peeking into windows throughout the complex, lighted windows and all. After looking in a large number of windows (+or- 30) Man 1 pulls out a baseball bat (for self-protection) and goes outside to confront Man 2. Man 2 sees the baseball bat and takes off running which prompts Man 1 to give chase for a little while. Man 1 returns to call the police which basically blow him off after arriving. Questions: From a tactical standpoint, common sense standpoint, moral standpoint, and of course, the what-if Murphy's law standpoint, what do you think?
Link Posted: 12/4/2001 11:06:25 AM EDT
well i would advise using something more thena baseball bat... what if he was packing...
Link Posted: 12/4/2001 11:11:27 AM EDT
I think in VA one can only perform a citizen's arrest for a felony. Not sure though. I will not comment on the soundness of Man 1's tactics, as it would take way too long. Definitely not safe.
Link Posted: 12/4/2001 11:33:18 AM EDT
Sounds like Man1 went looking for trouble.
Link Posted: 12/4/2001 11:48:32 AM EDT
That's what I told him. He called me wondering if I knew anything about our state's citizen arrest statutes. They are vague, to say the least, and interpreted on both sides of the fence. He still insists that what he did was OK and that his bat wielding is somehow equivalent to my CCW. After many long minutes of banging my head on the wall, I gave up and asked him to post the scenario for result. Second scenario: Just purchased firearm and has no ammo for it. One day he hears a banging on his door. Some guy trying to get in. The guy gives up and then goes to the door across the hall. Then a third, then enters the fourth where Man 1 knows that a vulnerable young women lives.... alone. Man 1 grabs the gun, sticks it SOB in his pants and bangs on the 4th door. Girl answers. [by this time I'm saying "drunk"]. Turns out it was her drunk boyfriend. I inform him that he would have been justified in torking the guy had he come in the door, but he really biffed it when he left the apartment with an unloaded gun in an attempt to play Lone Ranger. His excuse for both scenarios is that this is a messed up world where we need to depend on the police to save others when we can, through a little vigilante justice, correct the wrongs. His intent was to "stop" the second man in the first scenario. His question of a "legal" arrest was what brought him to call me.
Link Posted: 12/4/2001 12:01:38 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/4/2001 12:05:51 PM EDT
A citizen's arrest can only be performed in the presence of bona fide LEO's, and only if the person performing the arrest has actually witnessed the suspect performing the misdemeanor or felony. A citizen may DETAIN a suspect until the police arrive, at which time the citizen's arrest can be conducted. For example: You witnessed a purse-snatching, where the suspect assaulted a woman and knocked her down before taking off. You pursue, tackle the guy (maybe give him a few hits because he "resisted"), and restrain him until the arrival of the police. At that time, you can simply hand him over to the LEO's and tell them what you witnessed, or you could go one step further and, in their presence, make a citizen's arrest. Military police have the same constraint concerning civilians - even after witnessing a crime, they can only detain the individual until appropriate civilian law enforcement arrives (i.e., state police, FBI, etc.). The only time where the MP's authority supercedes that of the civil authorities is during martial law.
Link Posted: 12/4/2001 12:33:04 PM EDT
A few years back, I saw a man, stop on the sidewalk in front of my neighbors house, at 2AM, sit down, remove his pants, and then walk around, trying all of her windows. A young, single girl lived there, and this guy sure wasn't one of *her* friends, in fact he looked like a vagrant. I immediately hit 911, and was promptly put on hold, ("your call is important to us, but all of our operators are busy, etc.,etc.") They finally answered, and said they would be right there. BTW, this is a high rape district, close enough to downtown to be risky, yet fat dumb and rich enough to be careless. I tried the neighbor's phone......out of service. This was looking worse and worse. I watched the guy, and vowed that if he looked like he was getting in, I would have to do *something*, as this neighbor was my friend, and I didnt want her to get hurt. (Her rental house had had a rape in it previously.) I was afraid to go over there, or even to yell at him through an open window, in case he was armed. I didn't want to get shot being a good neighbor. I am not a cop, I don't know how to do these things safely. After 20 minutes of watching him fumbling with windows, the police still hadn't shown up, so I lit him up with the laser dot sight from my window. He didnt notice it at first, so I flashed it across his eyes and even off the glass. At the point he realized what it was, looked up and saw the AR pointed at him through the window, he took off like a scalded cat. I had no intention of shooting, unless he threatened me with a weapon. Police finally showed up, 45 minutes later, (pizza would have gotten here faster.) "Well, it's Saturday night, we can't be everywhere at once." And here I thought a B&E and possible attempted rape in progress had some priority! The weird thing is, this has happened twice here to me......a few years later, with someone peeping in the outside windows of an apt. bldg. across the alley. Same "no-show" cops, same laser method...same outcome. This was before there were laser pointers everywhere, and I wonder if it would be as effective today. Most likely not. A few more years later, someone in the next neighborhood down made the mistake of actually shooting the perp violating his neighbor. This was an "in progress" rape/assault, the victim was a State Rep., and guess what? The shooter got charged. The Make My Day Law only applies to your own friggin house. I now keep guard dogs.
Link Posted: 12/4/2001 12:49:17 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/4/2001 12:43:37 PM EDT by SomeGuyInAHat]
Originally Posted By Goet: That's what I told him. He called me wondering if I knew anything about our state's citizen arrest statutes. They are vague, to say the least, and interpreted on both sides of the fence. He still insists that what he did was OK and that his bat wielding is somehow equivalent to my CCW.
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Uh, no. Carrying a concealed weapon for self defense is in no way akin to chasing a guy with a bat (deadly weapon). I think the case could be made for assault, or at the very least brandishing. Since Man2 was not an immediate danger to anyone, there was no reason to use any more than verbal force against him.
Second scenario: Just purchased firearm and has no ammo for it. One day he hears a banging on his door. Some guy trying to get in. The guy gives up and then goes to the door across the hall. Then a third, then enters the fourth where Man 1 knows that a vulnerable young women lives.... alone. Man 1 grabs the gun, sticks it SOB in his pants and bangs on the 4th door. Girl answers. [by this time I'm saying "drunk"]. Turns out it was her drunk boyfriend. I inform him that he would have been justified in torking the guy had he come in the door, but he really biffed it when he left the apartment with an unloaded gun in an attempt to play Lone Ranger.
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I hope he didn't have a front sight on that unloaded gun, because if he had threatened someone with it, it probably would have gotten shoved up his a$$. This guy has no idea of the concepts of self defense/defense of a third party.
His excuse for both scenarios is that this is a messed up world where we need to depend on the police to save others when we can, through a little vigilante justice, correct the wrongs. His intent was to "stop" the second man in the first scenario. His question of a "legal" arrest was what brought him to call me.
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If this guy is ever involved in a shooting, it's a pretty safe bet that he's either going to go to jail or get killed. He's going to interject himself in a situation that he has no business in that may not require use of force. Since he's already done this twice, he may need to consider whether his idea of vigilante justice is worth losing everything he owns and possibly going to prison. In the first situation, if Man1 had called the cops and kept an eye on Man2, the cops would have a reasonable chance of making an arrest. Instead, he chased him off and put himself in a bad legal position. Good idea? Obviously not. Second scenario wasn't as bad, since he believed that a 3rd party was in danger, but again he should have called the cops when man2 was banging on every door in the hall. Lack of training, lack of the legal ramifications of self defense, and this guy's vigilante attitude is going to get him in big trouble.
Link Posted: 12/4/2001 12:56:15 PM EDT
Here's another question. I'm thinking I should get this guy some good info on deadly force and non-deadly force confrontations. Like a scared-straight approach to this problem. I'd also consider helping him pay for some training in the UT area. Any suggestions as to books or classes?
Link Posted: 12/4/2001 1:27:20 PM EDT
From my limited knowledge of Utah law studied at the academy (Corrections), the only time a citizen arrest can be made without the presence of an officer is with shoplifting. Felonies are a different matter and you can stop a rape with force it's fuzzy beyond that for me. Deadly force can be used only if your life or the life of someone else is in IMMEDIATE danger. Someone peeking in windows is not enough to stop them, but the police need to be called immediately and then you have to wait. Sorry, I wish I could be of more help!
Link Posted: 12/4/2001 1:32:26 PM EDT
here's the vague code: 76-2-403. Force in arrest. Any person is justified in using any force, except deadly force, which he reasonably believes to be necessary to effect an arrest or to defend himself or another from bodily harm while making an arrest. Shoplifting is the most popular use, but it does backfire.
Link Posted: 12/4/2001 3:47:29 PM EDT
In Fla. a CCW does not make you a cop. You are not supposed to go and fight crime with your weapon. I do believe though, that you may use deadly force to stop a "forcible felony". i.e.: rape, robbery, kidnapping etc. Funny though, you would probably be in trouble if shot someone carjacking yourself as you would be expected to retreat. I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on t.v. Florida residents should get a copy of: "Florida Firearms, Law Use and Ownership" by Jon H. Gutmacher It is full of usefull info for weapon owners and carriers. Cheers BP
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