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Citizens Arrest and Deputizing

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  • Citizens Arrest and Deputizing

    Just wanted to get clarification on a citizen arrest and what my rights are as a citizen if I see a robbery in progress or if someone commits against myself. It seems like you dont see this anymore, not sure if its because people are afraid of the law. And have any of you encountered/dealt with a citizens arrest or had to deputize a citizen to aid in an arrest?

    Also, I have a pair of cuffs (and a sick cuff key at that), say if I were to use these cuffs to put someone under a citizens arrest...is that illegal or would that upset that arresting officer?

  • #2
    IIRC, in NY a citizen is able to 'arrest' a person that commits a felony in the citizen's presence. Not sure on the handcuffs.

    And in NY, disobeying an order from a PO to help him in the apprehension of a criminal is a misdemeanor.

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    • #3
      i wouldnt recommend a citz arrest, its a good way to get your *** kicked and with the "you can sue anyone" mentallity, it just isnt worth it. be a good witness and make a phone call.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by WannabeinLE
        Just wanted to get clarification on a citizen arrest and what my rights are as a citizen if I see a robbery in progress or if someone commits against myself. It seems like you dont see this anymore, not sure if its because people are afraid of the law. And have any of you encountered/dealt with a citizens arrest or had to deputize a citizen to aid in an arrest?

        Also, I have a pair of cuffs (and a sick cuff key at that), say if I were to use these cuffs to put someone under a citizens arrest...is that illegal or would that upset that arresting officer?
        In some states you can make a citizens arrest if you witness a felony. First, you have to know the difference between felony's and misdemeanors, and depending on the charge these can be minute details. Second, I'd worry less about the handcuffs (Or gun if you have one) and worry more about getting your butt out of there and calling the cops.

        Don't be a hero unless you have to be one. Cops have radios and backup and bullett resistent vests and pepper spray and asp's and cuffs and tasers and duty weapons......and you have a pair of cuffs, a moral sensibility, and hopefully a stong desire to go home alive.
        "We cross our bridges when we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and a presumption that once our eyes watered." - Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead

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        • #5
          Don't be a hero unless you have to be one. Cops have radios and backup and bullett resistent vests and pepper spray and asp's and cuffs and tasers and duty weapons......and you have a pair of cuffs, a moral sensibility, and hopefully a stong desire to go home alive.
          And none of that stuff is any good without proper training. A set off cuffs are useless if they are crammed up a place where the sun doesn't shine.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by WannabeinLE
            Just wanted to get clarification on a citizen arrest and what my rights are as a citizen if I see a robbery in progress or if someone commits against myself. It seems like you dont see this anymore, not sure if its because people are afraid of the law. And have any of you encountered/dealt with a citizens arrest or had to deputize a citizen to aid in an arrest?

            Also, I have a pair of cuffs (and a sick cuff key at that), say if I were to use these cuffs to put someone under a citizens arrest...is that illegal or would that upset that arresting officer?
            Don't go out looking for a crime to take place in your presence now! And even wih the handcuffs, if you are not properly trained on how to use them on someone (yes its more difficult then just slapping them on someone), you can be sued big time if you hurt that person somehow...I would highly advise you to sit back and be a good witness and call 911 or let LE handle the situation.
            "An excuse is worse and more terrible than a lie, for an excuse is a lie guarded."

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            • #7
              People get shot, stabbed or the crap beat out of them trying a foolish stunt like a citizens arrest and if thet does npt happen and you are wrong you get sued. Nothing worse then loosing your life to a dirtbag unless you loose lots of money.

              If you restrain an innocent person with handcuffs you can be charged with kidnapping a FELON you would then be for life.

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              • #8
                Also, if you choose to carry handcuffs and there is an issue as to whether the detainment was justified, a prosecutor may use that as evidence against you that indicates that you were out looking for a confrontation and that your actions may have been more of a result of your desire to detain someone than to detain a person that has committed a crime that warranted a citizen's arrest.

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                • #9
                  Put the handcuffs down and back away. Carrying handcuffs around with you when you are not a cop is one surefire way to A. get yourself in trouble or B. at the minimum get looked at like a weirdo.

                  The chances of you being able to catch and cuff someone who just commited a felony with nothing but a pair of handcuffs, your charming personality, and no training are slim and none. The chances of you getting hurt, or questioned by the police about why you have handcuffs on the other hand, are very high.

                  Do yourself a favor and don't think about cuffing until if/when you get hired.

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                  • #10
                    Citizen's arrest and deputizing

                    You just got a million bucks worth of good advice. Heed it.

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                    • #11
                      With this kids medical issue & off the wall ideas we have a problem brewing.
                      Last edited by Bodie; 10-06-2005, 05:58 AM.

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                      • #12
                        In SC a citizen also has the right to resist an UNLAWFUL arrest with the force required to stop the arrest, if the person has a reasonable belief he is being unlawfully detained. While this generally does not apply to LEO's, if he whips your @$$ to avoid what he perceives as an unlawfull "citizen's arrest" he likely has legal grounds for a law suit. Be a good witness. Even when off-duty, I try to do the same.
                        Last edited by SCConstable2004; 10-05-2005, 08:10 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Not Quite

                          Originally posted by SWH
                          IIRC, in NY a citizen is able to 'arrest' a person that commits a felony in the citizen's presence. Not sure on the handcuffs.

                          And in NY, disobeying an order from a PO to help him in the apprehension of a criminal is a misdemeanor.
                          Close, but not quite.

                          In NYS, a person is able to arrest a person for a felony when it has, in fact, been committed. Also able to arrest another for any other offense, in fact committed in his presence. The phrase "in fact committed" should be troubling to any citizen thinking about making an arrest. A police officer needs "reasonable cause to believe" the offense was committed. For a private citizen, the offense must have "in fact been committed." A much different, and heavier burden. I always advise people not to do it.
                          You can now follow me on twitter.

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                          • #14
                            Citizen's Arrest.

                            Just to back up everyone else, Wannabe, it's definitely a bad idea to take the law in your own hands even if you have witnessed the crime. However, the question goes to the police officers: What if you "the private citizen" and were trained in aprehention (loss prevention) or what have you, and you witnessed a man beating a woman or someone drunk out of their mind about to drive off?

                            Or in my case, while on patrol as a security officer, stopped at red light behind a car who did not move as light turned green, I hunked the horn but got no response. I noticed someone slummped over on the drivers seat, I put on my lightbar flashers to see if person reacted but still no response.
                            I aproached car in safe manner ofcourse, and smelled very strong alcohol, I tapped on the window and still got no response from the female who was in drivers seat; I then yelled Mam!!! and she finally opened her eyes, stunned, and afraid to see a uniform I told her "relax i'm not a cop" "you fell asleep at the wheel, I can smell alcohol mam! I think you should pull into a parking lot to rest a little while". she said "ok thanks" and drove off.
                            I went on my way but aprox 5 minutes later I decided to drive in the direction she drove to see if she had pulled in somewhere because I felt uneasy about letting this person drive off and if I had called the cops at this point they would have asked, why I didn't you call sooner (my mistake, I know, I learned don't worry, it was an 3rd shift anyway and wasn't really thinking due to nothing going on all night, but that's no excuse).
                            Anyway what do you think I should have done? please answer the first question an according to your state laws, I will get the I dea. I know what I would do now ofcourse but I want police input. Thanks, sorry to drag this so long.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by SlowDownThere
                              "in fact committed"
                              That is an interesting point. So, if a private person arrested someone for a felony offense, and the offender went to trial, was found not guilty because all they had was the private person as a witness.....then at that point, is the private person guilty of kidnapping?
                              "We cross our bridges when we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and a presumption that once our eyes watered." - Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead

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