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Interesting thing happened at Walmart

Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics and Training' started by Smoke, Jun 21, 2004.

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  1. Das Pferd

    Das Pferd Member

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    Yes.

    If you dont have it built into your character to do the right thing, what makes you think that you will suddenly and instantly go out of your way to help someone?

    If your whole life you sit back and think "well the security gaurd is handling it, I shouldnt get involved because I might hurt myself and he wont pay the hospital bills" then one instant the exact same thing happens except has different circumstances. Instead of a shoplifter its a Jewish person being detained by the police for being Jewish. If your whole life you have trained your mind to think only for yourself and your own well being, what makes you think that it will be different that time?

    I am being a realist. People like to talk big about when it really goes down what they would do. But most people even on this board will cower like sheep and do nothing because they have never done anything before.

    Not saying any of you, just making a point.

    Doing the right thing is does the right thing. You cant choose your place and time. You either have it in you or you dont. Actions speak louder then words right.
     
  2. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Member

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    Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer and I don't play one on TV so take this with a grain of salt


    If you are not a sworn police officer and you touch someone else you have committed battery, unless you are protecting someone from a violent act (no, shoplifting is not a violent act).

    Even the security guard at Walmart (or a Mall or any other retail outlet) is not allowed to touch a shoplifter unless they do something violent. Period.


    A while back on TFL there was a thread about someone who didn't want to empty their bag when the "loss prevention device" went off and they kept walking ... the security guard (or maybe it was a greeter) grabbed their arm and ended up facing battery charges.
     
  3. mrming

    mrming Member

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    Das Pferd:


    Try reading some first. I'd suggest something lightweight, like the federalist papers. If you want something a bit heavier, move on to Plato's The Republic. Come back when you have. You might discover concepts such as justice, right, wrong.. are all very relative and that modern soceity really isn't based on them.

    Shortest possible answer to the shoplifting analogy: You as an individual do not have right to appoint yourself an enforcer of any society's laws/morales. That is reserved for the society, and whatever structures it establishes for that goal. Even if you did, it is no more right for an individual to sacrafice their freedom / livelyhood to prevent a minor infraction of societies laws than it is to commit said infraction.
     
  4. c_yeager

    c_yeager Member

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    Actually this is 100% wrong (at least in Washintong state). If someone is STEALING your property you most certainly CAN physically prevent them from doing so. Now, if it turns out that the person WASN'T stealing then you did just commit a crime. Which is why merchants are so careful about having loss-prevention people in the first place. (many large retailors don't even consider it to be cost-effective).
     
  5. Warren

    Warren Member

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    Das Pferd...

    You want I should clothesline 'em?
     
  6. CrudeGT

    CrudeGT Member

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    I certainly would grab the guy. maybe by the arm, or maybe stand in his way. But I would do my best to let the guard know that this crook is getting away. And I do my best not to hurt him, but no promises...
     
  7. gunsmith

    gunsmith member

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    let the guard earn his pay

    If your in Cali don't touch him. If you didn't witness the crime yourself you could be charged with assault.

    It's unfortunate but true.
     
  8. cracked butt

    cracked butt Member

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    Nope, wouldn't do a thing. Walmart security is prety good for countering shoplifters. If the security guard didn't catch him, the cameras in the parking lot would have gotten them a good description of his getaway vehicle for the cops who might be on their way.

    I wouldn't put my personal financial situation in jeopardy because I hurt someone who got away from being detained for potentially stealing something- it isn't worth it, and at this point, the store probably did recover the stolen merchandise before the suspect got away.

    These days you can get sued for hurting someone who is trying to steal your car or who you catch in the act of running out the door of your house with your TV set, I sure as heck don't want to be put in such a situation in a store owned by a huge corporation who don't care spit if I get sued for helping to protect their business.
     
  9. yy

    yy Member

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    Am I reading this right? I'm shocked! SHOCKED!

    the summary for several people is:

    wal mart don't care about you so don't help it

    the downside of getting involved is so steep that we should disregard the likelyhood of the **** happening and conclude zero involvement

    protect your family and other bystanders first (this is actually right both legally and morally)

    the consequences of reading the situation wrong is so dire that we need not weight the likelihood of that mistake and go straight to zero involvement



    I counted so few stand up guys. Why does anyone bother lamenting the poor state of things *these days*?


    The hypothetical question was: if my kids were already safe, do I stop or block running man?

    Hell yeah. And I don't wonder why no one would help me out of trouble anymore.

    Even understanding that we should never *advocate/advise* people to get involved and risk bad things happening, I still expected many more people to say they'd do the right thing and at least slow the running man down. I thought THR had a higher percentage of stand up guys. I am disappointed by the number of people who advocate zero involvement becuase the victim was walmart.

    whatever happened to "I disagree with what you say, but I'd defend to my death your right to say it?" Substitute speech right with property and security.:what:
     
  10. Scoob

    Scoob Member

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    For those who would act to help another, I hope you never get sued for it.

    For those who wouldn't, I can see your point.

    Just personal decision, it's hard to say who's right or wrong and depends totally on the situation.

    Me, I would've tripped the doofus... the way I was raised I guess.
     
  11. cracked butt

    cracked butt Member

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    YY- I'm not sure if you live in the real world. Its not worth my effort if I can get sued or even charged with battery for intervening. If it were a lady in the Walmart parking lot getting her purse stolen, I would certainly intervene if possible.


    A good friend of mine did jail time over something much more rediculous than this. He was coaching a youth soccer team when a bunch of Asian gangbangers came on the field and started pushing his kids around (my friend is Hmong as well as the kids he was coaching- apparantly the 'wrong' type of Asians to these gangbangers) He tried shooing them away and pulling them off his kids when they ganged up on him, one of them using a baseball bat. My friend was into martial arts and fought them off, putting one of them in the hospital- he was charged with assaulting a minor as a few of them were under 18 yo. IMO there is no question that he did the right thing, but the law saw it differently.

    Would you go to jail for Walmart?
     
  12. gunsmith

    gunsmith member

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    A friend of mine won a lawsuit against security

    He had locked his moped on the sidewalk and entered a building. The security guard said "remove the moped or I will cut the chain and take it"
    he told the guard he would report him to the police for theft,Guard punched my friend in the face!
    Instead of fighting My friend fell down (on purpose) and wouldn't move untill an ambulance and police pulled up.
    Long story short, guard was fired and my friend a few thou richer.
     
  13. 38SnubFan

    38SnubFan Member

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    Why is this such a difficult decision?

    Zundfolge, I, too, am one of those "security guys". I work part-time for a local shopping mall which sees more than its fair share of criminal incidents.

    :fire: :cuss:

    I have ABSOLUTE power to make sure that someone I apprehend for shoplifting, or any crime for that matter, is stopped and unable to flee, but (the same applies to sworn police officers as well) with only the force necessary. This means I can put my hands on someone, and even restrain (handcuff) them. I don't need to eyewitness the crime myself; I only need a credible witness/complainant.

    Furthermore, if a person "shoplifts" and does not attempt to flee when apprehended, he has commited "retail theft" and thus the suspect doesn't have to be chased in the first place. However, robbery is defined as "commiting a theft with intent or action to flee and/or cause bodily injury to another to avoid arrest and/or prosecution," so it seems to me this was a pretty clear-cut case of robbery.

    I can't really say whether or not Smoke would be justified in intervening with this apprehension. If I were in his shoes, I know I would based on the fact that someone had fled from a uniformed person paid to protect a property from loss, with intent to avoid apprehension and prosecution. If Smoke felt that he would be justified in intervening based on the above pretenses, then I would support him by all means.

    Given the fact that he had his 18-month old child in his arms, he did the right thing by NOT intervening, keeping innocent bystanders out of harms way.

    Thus, I look at it this way: If I was reasonably certain that a crime had indeed occured, and I could effectively assist in the apprehension of the offender without placing anyone's safety in jeopardy by intervening, then by all means I would intervene. For those who would not be comfortable intervening for fear of getting themselves hurt, I support that decision as well.

    Maybe it's only because of the job I do and my close ties to the Law Enforcement community that I would intervene. My girlfriend used to work for a cigarette outlet (ironically, she now works the jewelery counter in the local Wal-Mart). The local police knew me from seeing me in uniform after work when I stopped by for coffee. The local police, as well as her manager, have told me that should an incident occur where someone needed apprehension, I was authorized to use the force necessary to stop the offender and detain him until police arrival, no matter what the offense.

    Gunsmith, I feel sorry for you and your good friend that he was actually convicted for defending the children he was responsible for as a coach. I believe him to be completely justified and anyone who wishes to harm small children need not be put in a hospital - they need put six feet closer to Hell! The only thing I can consider (playing Devil's Advocate) is that a judge figured his actions to be exceeding those required to stop the threat to those children.

    It is a shame that these days someone defending an innocent person is immediately considered for assault or murder/manslaughter charges after saving a life or property. I remember growing up when my mother got her hands on a bully bigger than her for beating me up and ripping my almost-new winter jacket. She tossed him around like a rag doll! When the police arrived after the bully's mother contacted them and spoke to both his mother and mine, he told the bully's mother "you need to keep your child under control." He then told the bully, "Shows how big and bad you are! You just got your a** kicked by someone shorter and smaller than you!"

    Oh, where are the good old days! fjolnrisson and kd7ctv, I would like to shake the hands of both of you if I ever get the chance! At least I know that when SHTF and you guys witness it, you'll have my back!

    For the man whose friend sued a security guard for getting punched in the mouth by him: Unfortunately that guy deserved to be fired and sued. However, I think it would have been better if your friend would have just complied with property regulations to avoid the whole matter. The guard would have been justified in removing the vehicle, as it was on private property and improperly parked (it IS a motor vehicle - shouldn't be on a sidewalk). If he would have called the police to report it stolen by a security guard, they would have arrived and departed the scene promptly, and probably laughing your friend into deep embarassment.

    I honestly thought THR members were of the caliber to uphold the law, rather than run away from it when it doesn't apply to them.
     
  14. c_yeager

    c_yeager Member

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    Did you read the original post? Noone was looking to get beat up. The worse that was about to happen is that a shoplifter would get away. The guard wasnt looking to get beat up, noone was in any danger. I'm sorry but if letting some shoplifter get away from walmart security makes me a bad person, well shucks. I can live with that.
     
  15. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Member

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    This is most likely one of those issues that varies from state to state because I know for a fact that in the state of Kansas (where I used to live) the only time a security guard (that is, someone who is not a sworn police officer) can touch someone is if the subject is violent ... otherwise the security guard goes to jail for Battery. I have been told the same applies here in Colorado but I haven't verified it.

    Not sure what the laws are in PA (although I'm sure you do since you have to act within them) nor do I know the laws in Bosque County, Texas.


    At any rate, I seriously doubt that as a (non LEO) bystander you would NOT be allowed to use any level of force to intervene (assuming the subject is not using violence).

    Yes, but unless Sam Walton happens to be the security guard can the guard really say that he's preventing the theft of his property?

    Again, maybe in the jurisdiction you live in private security are given the right to use force against non-violent criminals, but this is one thing you better be sure about where you live (and I seriously doubt that a non security/LEO bystander would get away unscathed if they where to use force against a non-violent shoplifter).

    At any rate, your CCW is expressly stated in most states to be used only to defend life and you aren't allowed to escalate a situation to where it becomes a life or death struggle just to justify use of force.




    As for those aghast that many of us here aren't willing to tackle/beat/shoot a shoplifter and wish to invoke Godwin's law by accusing us of being cut from the same cloth as those who aided Nazi's in their extermination of Jews ... y'all need to come down to the real world. :rolleyes:
     
  16. 38SnubFan

    38SnubFan Member

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    Zundfolge,

    I did some research on the statement you made that in Kansas only a law enforcement officer has the right to use force to make an arrest, and found the following:

    Kansas Statute No. 21-3216

    21-3216. Private person's use of force in making arrest. (1) A private person who makes, or assists another private person in making a lawful arrest is justified in the use of any force which he would be justified in using if he were summoned or directed by a law enforcement officer to make such arrest, except that he is justified in the use of force likely to cause death or great bodily harm only when he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or another.

    (2) A private person who is summoned or directed by a law enforcement officer to assist in making an arrest which is unlawful, is justified in the use of any force which he would be justified in using if the arrest were lawful.



    So, unless I'm reading this wrong (the PA Crimes Code says almost exactly the same thing as the above) a private person has the power to arrest or assist in an arrest as long as a law enforcement officer would be justified in arresting the same person for the same crime.

    Sorry to call your bluff there Zundfolge. (I truly am sorry, I wasn't looking to do that on purpose. Was just curious where in your state's statutes it said what you were saying.)


    I checked CO Statues as well. It breaks down into two parts:

    16-3-201 - ARREST BY A PRIVATE PERSON.
    A person who is not a peace officer may arrest another person when any crime has been or is being committed by the arrested person in the presence of the person making the arrest.

    18-1-707 - USE OF FORCE IN MAKING AN ARREST OR PREVENTING AN ESCAPE.
    (7) A private person acting on his own account is justified in using reasonable and appropriate physical force upon another person when and to the extent that he reasonably believes it necessary to effect an arrest, or to prevent the escape of custody of an arrested person who has committed an offense in his presence; but he is justified in using deadly physical force for the purpose only when he reasonably believes it necessary to defend himself or a third person from what he reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of deadly physical force.


    As for TX, I'm not sure. I checked out their statutes online but haven't found anything stating whether or not a private citizen is authorized to make an arrest. I'm guessing if Smoke considered intervening, then he's reasonably convinced that TX does allow for it, and I'd say his right to use of force would be similar to other states.



    Yes, he can. He is being paid for such actions and thereby authorized by Wal-Mart to act on their behalf for the prevention of criminal offenses to their property and occupants.

    Although I'm given the same respect in private security by law enforcement as they would for a sworn police officer where I work, my power to arrest and use force is the legal equivalent of a private citizen.

    Nowhere in Smoke's post did I see him mention using his CCW against the BG, nor is it stated that Smoke even carries ANY weapon, lethal or non-lethal. He only stated he would side-step to block the BG from further escape. So I must ask: What was your basis for that argument? (Not that I'm disagreeing with that statement. It IS a true statement.)

    I've already said before that I understand the position of those who fear harming themselves by assisting and therefore step out of the way. However, given my job title, I don't have that luxury and it's pretty much a mindset for me to not fear anyone, (I'm a 5'10" 155 lb. male, who has succesfully subdued and handcuffed an extremely violent 5'6" 260 lb. female who by that point managed to strike me with her long fingernails and send blood running down the side of my face.) I don't know Smoke's background and assume he's your everyday run-of-the-mill model citizen, but if he was willing to take the risk of injury by assisting in the apprehension of a robbery suspect, then that is his decision to make, and no one else here.

    I doubt I've ended this argument (I'm sure I just perpetuated it further), but at least we can all be a little more informed about whether a private citizen can make an arrest or not and the REASONABLE use of force employed within.

    Sincerely,
    MW
     
  17. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

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    38Snubfan said;
    How much civil torts protection does Pa law give you? Will the state defend you in a suit for false arrest or unlawful restraint?

    Will the local police depart or manager of the cigarette outlet where your girlfriend used to work pick up the tab for your defense if you're sued? It would seem to me that away from your place of employment you are a private citizen like everyone else. It's good that the manager of the cigarette outlet has so much truct in your abilities, but does he have the cash to pay for your defense if you're sued? Will the owner ship of the store back him?

    I don't see how your position as a private security guard obligates you to take any action if you are not at your place of employment and on the clock. I had no idea a security guard license carried such awesome duties and responsibilities :scrutiny:. I'm under no obligation to always act and I'm a sworn peace officer.

    I hate to have to say this, but a mindset of fearing no one is reckless and unsafe. :uhoh: That's exactly the kind of mindset that we try to dissuade young police officers from developing. Just because you've successfully subdued and handcuffed a violent 5'6", 260 pound woman doesn't mean that the 5'4", 145 pound man who's wigged out on PCP won't stomp your butt into the pavement. I know a lot of cops and security guards and private citizens and I've yet to meet superman. I see nothing wrong with backing away from a situation and coming back later with whatever resources you need to reslove the situation the way it needs to be. It doesn't make you any less of a man. If you keep charging headlong into every situation because you don't have the luxury of doing otherwise you're eventually going to get hurt.

    All anyone who said they wouldn't intervene was saying, was that the situation as described didn't meet their criteria for getting involved. I agree with them, but I won't condemn them like others are condemning those who say they wouldn't intervene.

    Jeff
     
  18. 38SnubFan

    38SnubFan Member

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    Jeff,

    Interestingly enough, I dealt recently with someone fellow officers and I arrested for Disorderly Conduct who attempted to sue us for unlawful restraint and excessive use of force. His own attorney refused to take his case after learning that the local police who came to pick him up upheld our actions and considered them justified. So what I'm saying is as long as law enforcement upholds the arrest as justified, then technically I would be protected by law from civil liability. I can't say I've seen a case here in PA where as long as the law enforcement officer upheld a citizen's decision to arrest/restrain someone, that same citizen lost a lawsuit for false arrest/unlawful restraint.

    I'm sure either of these men would gladly testify on my behalf in defense of a civil lawsuit would it have ever happened, but like I said, due to PA law, probably won't.

    I never said I was LEGALLY obligated, and maybe by many, not even morally. I do, however, by my own beliefs and morals, consider myself obligated as one who is paid when on duty to protect life and property, and as a good citizen. And as I explained in my previous post replying to Zungfoldge, my powers of arrest, on or off duty, are the same as a PRIVATE CITIZEN. However, let me understand you here: You are a sworn peace officer and are not obligated to act when off duty? Wow! My director of public safety where I work is a sworn police officer as well, and I've learned from him that being a law enforcement officer is a 24/7/365 job. So you mean to tell me that you are not legally obligated in Illinois to intervene when you witness a crime occuring? Here in PA a law enforcement officer is, and moreso, they consider themselves morally obligated. What are your beliefs and morals as a police officer? From what you've told me so far, I don't think I would want to be a resident of Alma, Illinois anytime soon.

    Maybe I exagerrated a little in my last post. There have been situations where the "small guys" have taken more than one officer to subdue. I do enter a situation with the fear of something bad happening to me. I just don't let it stop me from doing my job. Off duty, yes I will consider the risk of injury to myself or others before intervening, and if I cannot directly intervene, I will call for police assistance and do my best to keep others from getting in harm's way.

    What kind of mindset then are you setting for your young police officers? I was taught a good cop doesn't try to be Rambo, but doesn't back down from an aggressor either nor show him fear. This is where I'm seeing a lot of less-than-ideal police officers in today's society who refuse to be pro-active in performing their duties, because they are more concerned about civil liability than doing what their minds, hearts, gut instinct, and moreso, JOB DESCRIPTION tells them to do.

    Let's take your example of the man wigged out on PCP. If he has become a threat to public safety, you're going to walk away and allow him to continue to be a threat until you "have the resources available?" Buddy, I don't know what kind of a cop you are, but where I come from if someone has become a threat, that police officer calls for those available resources, but in the meantime uses the resources he has available to stop the threat until that help arrives. That's a what a GOOD cop does. And as a cop, if you walk away from that kind of situation under those pretenses, then what kind of a man are you? A good police/peace officer isn't just about training and abilities - it's about the person inside wanting and willing to make and keep their communities safe. All the training and experience in the world doesn't amount to squat unless you're willing to do what it takes when it has to be done - right then and there!

    Jeff, I'm going to say this ONE MORE TIME and for the last time for you and anyone else who hasn't paid attention to my previous posts. I AM NOT CONDEMNING ANYONE WHO WOULD CHOOSE NOT TO INTERVENE! Everyone is different and unique, and therefore has different abilities and reactions. I accept that. However, I was giving my opinion in this thread as to what I would do if I were in Smoke's shoes. I also rebutted Zundfolge's argument as to whether or not it would be legal to do so. That is all. I don't believe there is a right or wrong answer to whether one should intervene or not. If it would be illegal for Smoke to intervene, then I would advise he shouldn't because I would not want to see him or anyone else get in trouble. However, he has indicated it would be legal for him to intervene, and in that case, I advise it is his decision to intervene if he feels confident and comfortable in doing so.

    As for the fear of lawsuits: as another person in this thread has stated, people will sue anyone for anything these days. If you don't want to worry about getting sued, then why bother walking out your front door? I don't worry about getting sued for doing the right thing, and really wish that others would stop worrying about it as well because they've seen all the stuff media shows about it.:banghead: Unfortunately, as it also is with defensive use of firearms, the media only shows the few good people losing such lawsuits, and not the many good people who win such cases (hmm, why would that make the headlines? I wonder...... :rolleyes: ).

    Again, this is just MY OPINION, and nothing more :fire: . Like they say, opinions are like :cuss: , and everybody has one.

    -MW
     
  19. trooper

    trooper Member

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    Yeah... there are a few occasions when I'm actually glad to live in Germany, and this thread is one of them.

    If I use necessary force to carry out a citizen's arrest there would be no way in hell the perp could ever sue me successfully.

    You live in a great country but your legal system is totally f****ed up. No offense...


    Regards,

    Trooper
     
  20. fjolnirsson

    fjolnirsson Member

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    Amen, Brother! Preach on!
     
  21. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

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    38Snubfan said;
    Ok, so what you're saying is that no attorney would take the case because they felt it wasn't winnable. I can buy that.

    But this confuses me;

    So PA Civil Tort rules say that if the local police say it was justified you are immune from the suit? Is that codified into law? Are you saying that PA law enforcement agencies are also immune from false arrest/unlawful restraint suits if their own internal investigation says it's justified?

    When I asked if the manager or the ownership of the cigarette outlet would defend you if your actions on their behalf were challenged in court, you replied;

    Perhaps you didn't understand. Testifying is one thing, paying the expenses of your defense is something else. Would they? I think it's possible that any party claiming injury would decide that the cigarette outlet had deeper pockets and would most likely sue them also, especially if they got some idea that an informal relationship for you to be in their employ as a security guard existed. Like it or not, that's what they would claim, especially if they got wind of what you posted that the manager told you.

    Let's define intervention. Often if off duty the best course of action is to be the best witness the prosectution has. There are a lot of things you have to weigh when you make your decision to charge into a crime in progress. Are you adequately equipped to to the job? Will your jumping in create a greater danger to those involved?

    As a police officer and as a private citizen I will always act to save someone from death or great bodily harm. There are many other instances where jumping in isn't going to solve the problem and may create more problems. In the situation wesmoke presented, there is no way I'd intervene for the reasons I've stated earlier. The gain of the arreest of the shoplifter doesn't outweigh the risks involved. Now change the situation to where the shoplifter is resisting and the loss prevention specialist needs help to keep himself or others from being injured and I'm right there. We now have the felony of Aggravated Battery being committed. Too bad you wouldn't want to live in Alma, it's a nice quiet town. I don't work there BTW.

    No, I'm not going to walk away from the guy wigged out on PCP, didn't then won't now. But let's back to shoplifting situation. Are you willing to give up life and limb to hold a sholifter for the police? Say you followed the shoplifter out of the store and were confronted with two or more of his friends. What now? Wouldn't it be more prudent to let him go and get a good description and license number then to maybe lose your life? That's what I mean by walking away. You're not less of a man. You simply are smart enough to know not to start a fight you can't possibly win. There is a difference.

    You're right, you don't know what kind of a cop I am. You don't know me at all. Before you go making accusations you had better define threat so that we're both on the same sheet of music. Earlier you said;

    Perhaps you should elaborate on the circumstances of that encounter. What were you detaining the woman for? Was she violent before you tried to take her into custody or did the fight start when you hooked her up?

    When I said there was nothing wrong with backing off and coming back with the resources needed to reslve the situation, I was referring to an arrest for a minor infraction that was about to turn into an encounter you might not win. No one said anything about the need to take immediate action to protect the public. A good cop knows the difference between the times he needs to take action right then and there and the times it's better for all concerned to handle things at another time and place where all the resources necessary to ensure that no one, not the suspect, not the officers and not a member of the public at large is injured.

    Young officers need to know how to work safely. They need to learn when to back down. Yes, believe it or not, there are times to back down. Make note of who the suspect is and come back and get them when you have enough help to deal with it. I don't see that as being less then proactive. Like it or not civil liability is something you have to live with. Obviously you've never been named in a lawsuit and faced the possibility of losing everything in your life you've ever worked for, for doing something you know is right. The people who hired me expect me to know when to take action and when not to. If you blindly charge into every situation, you're going to end up hurt, dead or financially ruined.

    Explain to me how the retail theft suspect that this thread is about is the aggressor. We've strayed from the original question of if you should intervene in a fluid situation that you had little real information about what was really happening into police officers aren't agressive enough and even into genocide.

    Let's get back to the situation as smoke described it and keep the discussion focused on that set of circumstances.

    Jeff
     
  22. horge

    horge Member

    Joined:
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    Egads.


    The premise, IIRC, is that
    I, with CCW, can see the unarmed shoplifter is escaping from the custody of the Loss-Prevention person. There is presumed to be no doubt as to what this perp is under custody for, nor the nature of his crime/arrest.

    The question thence is:
    Do I, an onlooking CCW holder, intervene physically to prevent the escape?



    Well, the UNARMED shoplifter isn't at any time presenting a threat of physical harm to anyone. Not to the Loss-Prev, not to the store employees, not to the shoppers.

    I said it once and I'll say it again:
    If I were to come into contact with the escapee, I would run the risk of losing my CCW to him, and endangering everyone around. I don't care how well-trained I think I am --the risk is still there, should I fail to conceal, and then retain my weapon.

    Considerations of future legal entanglements stemming from my intervention would definitely be there, but in the end it's really a judgement call to make, based on the odds of a quick (non-gun) subdual, and the safety of bystanders.

    Accusing LEO's or private CCWers of lacking courage or convictions just because they actually think before they act... that's pretty sad.




    horge
     
  23. 38SnubFan

    38SnubFan Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Harrisburg, PA
    Jeff, you have made this an interesting (and civilized, thank you) debate!

    I agree with you Jeff, we have allowed this discussion to go off subject and I think you may have won your case in some points, so let me answer some more of your questions/quotes.

    If a law enforcement officer states I was justified and exercised a proper (non-excessive) use of force, if any, to make the arrest, then I would not be considered civilly liable. Unfortunately, law enforcement agencies are not immune even if their own internal investigation states the arrest was justified, but if they were sued and lost, it would be up to that agency/department to make restitution, not the citizen who initiated the arrest. I hope this answers that question.

    To be honestly, probably not. This is why I would be VERY sure I was justified to make an arrest before proceeding with it.

    I agree with you wholeheartedly on that. There was a presumption made in this thread that the risk of others getting harmed was already considered and "ruled out", and I think you make a good point not only as a police officer, but as a observant and intelligent human being in general, that you can never "rule out" that risk, because you don't know what will happen until you are already in it. You also brought up the possibility of an "ambush" by friends waiting outside to "cover his back" and that's a very good point indeed. On duty, there's a "minimum risk" I have to take in order to perform my duties successfully. Off duty though, not having to take a risk, I would probably make the attempt to stop him (this assuming I'm sure a crime was commited and the arrest by the Loss Prevention Specialist was lawful) if I could do so without placing my own safety (or others' safety) at further risk by such an "ambush" (meaning I wouldn't try to chase him across the parking lot). As I said in my last post, I will consider the risk of injury to myself or others before intervening, and if I cannot directly intervene, I will call for police assistance and do my best to keep others from getting in harm's way (direct quote from my previous post).

    I'm not sure of how IL law works, but in PA, if a person commits Retail Theft, then attempts to flee apprehension, he IS resisting arrest and the charge then becomes Robbery. If he's physically resisting by fighting the Loss Prevention Specialist and you're witnessing this, then I too would be intervening to prevent the LP Specialist from further injury. If the perp was running without being previously apprehended, then it would still be a Retail Theft, and I would leave it to LP to pursue him. The fact that he was apprehended then escaped made it Robbery and Resisting Arrest (under PA law). This is where I'm saying I would be justified to intervene (but only if I could do so without placing innocent bystanders in harm's way, which is something I ALWAYS make sure of first).

    I checked the Illinois statutes to see if differences in the laws between your state and mine are causing our differences of opinion here. As far as a private person making an arrest, they are justified to do so. The same applies here in PA.

    But after reading the following, I have a question:

    (720 ILCS 5/7‑7) (from Ch. 38, par. 7‑7)
    Sec. 7‑7. Private person's use of force in resisting arrest. A person is not authorized to use force to resist an arrest which he knows is being made either by a peace officer or by a private person summoned and directed by a peace officer to make the arrest, even if he believes that the arrest is unlawful and the arrest in fact is unlawful.
    (Source: P.A. 86‑1475.)

    Would this mean then (in the case of our discussion) that the Wal-Mart perp would be authorized to resist arrest, since the LP Specialist acted on his own behalf and not under the direction of a peace officer? If so, then I can understand not intervening, since doing so would be a violation of the perp's rights. In PA though, the law considers resisting an arrest made by either a law enforcement/peace officer or private person to be a crime, and allows others to prevent the escape regardless.

    I owe you an apology there Jeff. :eek: Franklintown, PA, where I live, is a small town with a population of less than 500, and is typically quiet, although we do seem to get a fair share of domestic disputes from a few of my nearby neighbors. :banghead: I myself work in Harrisburg.

    Again another apology. :eek: :eek: I think we both got the wrong impressions of each other at the beginning. I hope through this post we can start to understand each other better, therefore allowing all of us to be better educated on what we can/should and can't/shouldn't do in the kind of situation Smoke presented.

    OK, here goes the story: I responded to a scene where a woman had just gotten her nails done, and was unhappy with the product/service. When she salon manger refused to re-do her nails or give her a refund, she became irate, and the salon manager asked her to leave. We advised the woman that the salon manager's position was not a criminal offense; that it was a civil matter, and she would have to file a civil complaint with the local District Justice. We further upheld the salon manager's request and asked her to leave. She again verbally and loudly (using profane language) refused to leave. We told her if she did not exit the salon within 30 seconds she would be arrested for both Defiant Trespassing and Disorderly Conduct. During this time interval she stated, "I bet you $30 (the amount in dispute the whole time was $20) that you won't put your :cuss: -ing hands on me!" to which my Lieutenant replied to her, "If I have to ma'am, I can bet you $31 that I will." When she continued to refuse and continued to yell loudly, swear, and act in a threatening manner towards an officer, he grabbed her right arm and attempted to place a handcuff on her right wrist. When she attempted to swing a punch with her left arm, I grabbed her left arm, arm-barring her and both physically and verbally ordered her to the floor. She continued to struggle, and at one point my Lieutenant lost his grip on her right arm, to which her and I went over a chair and landed on her back, squaring off with me, kicking me in the chest (thank God for body armor) and striking me in the face, cutting me in the left temple with her nails. I leg-locked her to stop her kicking and used the handcuff already on her right wrist to engage "pain compliance" and thus completed restraining her after a brief further struggle. Note: The District Justice dismissed the Defiant Trespass charge, saying she had legal right to continue to occupy the premises due to her civil dispute with the manager. He did uphold the Disorderly Conduct and Simple Assault charge, also stating that her disruptive behavior, as well as assaulting me, constitued grounds for her to be removed from both the salon and the mall.

    This is true and I agree with you, but we also don't know whether or not the infraction would turn into such an encounter one may not win, either. I don't know whether I would win the encounter unless I was engaged in that encounter. It's like trying to predict the outcome of a baseball game before the first pitch has been thrown. In this case, I would need to size up my "opposition" first. If the perp is twice my size and likely to mow me down if I stand in his way, then Heck, let him run - I'm not becoming a "spot on the floor". However, if we're talking about some scrawny teenage "punk" who's just quick on his feet, I probably would try to help the security guard "snatch him up". Smoke really didn't specify about the perp other than to say "stereotypical thug," which could mean any size/shape/strength of person.

    Given your well put argument, I do have to say that Smoke may have "jumped the gun" for the fact he ASSUMED that the security guard grabbed an actual criminal and did not know for certain what the crime committed was. I'm only giving my opinion based on the presumptions of a retail theft being committed. If I were in Smoke's shoes, I'd have to "side-step" this situation, for I don't know all the facts for certain.

    Sorry Smoke, I tried to back you up on this one, but Jeff here has made some very good points that have caused me to re-think things.

    You're absolutely right, Jeff. I didn't mean to give you the wrong impression. I too was one of those young, inexperienced officers, and even teach the new guys that if there's ever a doubt about the ability to handle a situation, call for backup, and simply keep observation and report until help arrives. I also teach them that you don't have to be a hard-a** to someone whose only offense is parking in a fire lane. Hey! Maybe you could show that same pointer to the rookie officer in my local PD before he ticks off the wrong person on a traffic stop and gets his butt kicked! :evil:

    I was actually referring to Mr. "Hyped-out-on-PCP" that you mentioned, not the retail theft suspect.

    Horge, even though the fact of CCW wasn't being brought into play in this thread, you did pose an interesting point regarding weapon concealment and retention, since I do carry a CCW. Personally, I carry and retain my weapon in such a way that should I need to defend myself physically against an unarmed person my weapon would remain concealed and retained in its holster. That's not to say the risk still isn't there - it's a matter of how each individual judges that risk. I've had a couple physical struggles when I backed up fellow officers at the mall while off duty shopping, and my CCW concealment/retention hasn't been a problem. As far as accusing LEOs or private citizens (CCW or non-CCW) of lacking courage or convictions, OK I accused one LEO but I do retract that, and for private persons I never did. I simply gave my opinion as to what I would do, and have already stated on a couple of occasions that I understand the position of those who would not get involved. Hope I cleared that up (again) for everyone.

    Matt

    P.S. Jeff, if I may ask, which department do you work for there in IL? Our department has a collection of uniform patches on our substation wall, and it would be a great honor if I could arrange with you to purchase/obtain one from your jurisdiction. I think it would also be a great story to tell my fellow officers the means that led up to getting that patch. Thanks.
     
  24. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
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    Alma Illinois
    .38SnubFan,
    Sorry for the tardy reply, I have been working a lot and my time at THR has been limited. In answer to my question about PA Civil Torts Law you stated:

    That's really interesting. Illinois law allows a private citizen or even a private security guard to make an arrest for a crime they witnessed, but doesn't extend civil torts protection to them. Even a member of the Illinois National Guard who has been mobilized for state duty by the governor in a riot does not have civil tort protection. Certain types of private security personnel have peace officer status on company property. Railroad Detectives come immediately to mind in that capacity here. While on railroad property they have peace officer status. Peace officers can still be sued for things they do in the scope of their employment but the state provides the defense if that happens. Just so I understand, in PA you can't be sued if a peace officer syas your actions were proper?

    Here is the Illinois Statute on Retail Theft:

    (720 ILCS 5/16A‑3) (from Ch. 38, par. 16A‑3)
    Sec. 16A‑3. Offense of Retail Theft. A person commits the offense of retail theft when he or she knowingly:
    (a) Takes possession of, carries away, transfers or causes to be carried away or transferred, any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale in a retail mercantile establishment with the intention of retaining such merchandise or with the intention of depriving the merchant permanently of the possession, use or benefit of such merchandise without paying the full retail value of such merchandise; or
    (b) Alters, transfers, or removes any label, price tag, marking, indicia of value or any other markings which aid in determining value affixed to any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale, in a retail mercantile establishment and attempts to purchase such merchandise personally or in consort with another at less than the full retail value with the intention of depriving the merchant of the full retail value of such merchandise; or
    (c) Transfers any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale, in a retail mercantile establishment from the container in or on which such merchandise is displayed to any other container with the intention of depriving the merchant of the full retail value of such merchandise; or
    (d) Under‑rings with the intention of depriving the merchant of the full retail value of the merchandise; or
    (e) Removes a shopping cart from the premises of a retail mercantile establishment without the consent of the merchant given at the time of such removal with the intention of depriving the merchant permanently of the possession, use or benefit of such cart; or
    (f) Represents to a merchant that he or another is the lawful owner of property, knowing that such representation is false, and conveys or attempts to convey that property to a merchant who is the owner of the property in exchange for money, merchandise credit or other property of the merchant; or
    (g) Uses or possesses any theft detection shielding device or theft detection device remover with the intention of using such device to deprive the merchant permanently of the possession, use or benefit of any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale in a retail mercantile establishment without paying the full retail value of such merchandise. A violation of this subsection shall be a Class A misdemeanor for a first offense and a Class 4 felony for a second or subsequent offense; or
    (h) Obtains or exerts unauthorized control over property of the owner and thereby intends to deprive the owner permanently of the use or benefit of the property when a lessee of the personal property of another fails to return it to the owner, or if the lessee fails to pay the full retail value of such property to the lessor in satisfaction of any contractual provision requiring such, within 10 days after written demand from the owner for its return. A notice in writing, given after the expiration of the leasing agreement, by registered mail, to the lessee at the address given by the lessee and shown on the leasing agreement shall constitute proper demand.
    (Source: P.A. 89‑373, eff. 1‑1‑96.)

    (720 ILCS 5/16A‑4) (from Ch. 38, par. 16A‑4)
    Sec. 16A‑4. Presumptions. If any person:
    (a) conceals upon his or her person or among his or her belongings, unpurchased merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale in a retail mercantile establishment; and
    (b) removes that merchandise beyond the last known station for receiving payments for that merchandise in that retail mercantile establishment such person shall be presumed to have possessed, carried away or transferred such merchandise with the intention of retaining it or with the intention of depriving the merchant permanently of the possession, use or benefit of such merchandise without paying the full retail value of such merchandise.
    (Source: P.A. 80‑352.)

    (720 ILCS 5/16A‑5) (from Ch. 38, par. 16A‑5)
    Sec. 16A‑5. Detention. Any merchant who has reasonable grounds to believe that a person has committed retail theft may detain such person, on or off the premises of a retail mercantile establishment, in a reasonable manner and for a reasonable length of time for all or any of the following purposes:
    (a) To request identification;
    (b) To verify such identification;
    (c) To make reasonable inquiry as to whether such person has in his possession unpurchased merchandise and, to make reasonable investigation of the ownership of such merchandise;
    (d) To inform a peace officer of the detention of the person and surrender that person to the custody of a peace officer;
    (e) In the case of a minor, to immediately make a reasonable attempt to inform the parents, guardian or other private person interested in the welfare of that minor and, at the merchant's discretion, a peace officer, of this detention and to surrender custody of such minor to such person.
    A merchant may make a detention as permitted herein off the premises of a retail mercantile establishment only if such detention is pursuant to an immediate pursuit of such person.
    A merchant shall be deemed to have reasonable grounds to make a detention for the purposes of this Section if the merchant detains a person because such person has in his possession either a theft detection shielding device or a theft detection device remover.
    (Source: P.A. 91‑468, eff. 1‑1‑00.)

    (720 ILCS 5/16A‑6) (from Ch. 38, par. 16A‑6)
    Sec. 16A‑6. Affirmative Defense. A detention as permitted in this Article does not constitute an arrest or an unlawful restraint, as defined in Section 10‑3 of this Code, nor shall it render the merchant liable to the person so detained.
    (Source: P.A. 79‑840.)

    (720 ILCS 5/16A‑7) (from Ch. 38, par. 16A‑7)
    Sec. 16A‑7. Civil Liability.
    (a) A person who commits the offense of retail theft as defined in Section 16A‑3 paragraphs (a), (b), (c), or (h) of this Code, shall be civilly liable to the merchant of the merchandise in an amount consisting of:
    (i) actual damages equal to the full retail value of

    the merchandise as defined herein; plus
    (ii) an amount not less than $100 nor more than

    $1,000; plus
    (iii) attorney's fees and court costs.
    (b) If a minor commits the offense of retail theft, the parents or guardian of said minor shall be civilly liable as provided in this Section; provided, however that a guardian appointed pursuant to the Juvenile Court Act or the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 shall not be liable under this Section. Total recovery under this Section shall not exceed the maximum recovery permitted under Section 5 of the "Parental Responsibility Law", approved October 6, 1969, as now or hereafter amended.
    (c) A conviction or a plea of guilty to the offense of retail theft is not a prerequisite to the bringing of a civil suit hereunder.
    (d) Judgments arising under this Section may be assigned.
    (Source: P.A. 93‑329, eff. 7‑24‑03.)

    (720 ILCS 5/16A‑8) (from Ch. 38, par. 16A‑8)
    Sec. 16A‑8. If any Section, clause, sentence, paragraph or part of this Article is for any reason adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment will not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall be confined in its operation to the Section, clause, sentence, paragraph or part thereof directly involved in the controversy in which such judgment shall have been rendered.
    (Source: P.A. 79‑840.)

    (720 ILCS 5/16A‑9) (from Ch. 38, par. 16A‑9)
    Sec. 16A‑9. Continuation of prior law. The provisions of this Article insofar as they are the same or substantially the same as those of Article 16 of this Code shall be construed as a continuation of such Article 16 and not as a new enactment.
    (Source: P.A. 79‑840.)

    (720 ILCS 5/16A‑10) (from Ch. 38, par. 16A‑10)
    Sec. 16A‑10. Sentence. (1) Retail theft of property, the full retail value of which does not exceed $150, is a Class A misdemeanor.
    (2) A person who has been convicted of retail theft of property, the full retail value of which does not exceed $150, and who has been previously convicted of any type of theft, robbery, armed robbery, burglary, residential burglary, possession of burglary tools or home invasion is guilty of a Class 4 felony. When a person has any such prior conviction, the information or indictment charging that person shall state such prior conviction so as to give notice of the State's intention to treat the charge as a felony. The fact of such prior conviction is not an element of the offense and may not be disclosed to the jury during trial unless otherwise permitted by issues properly raised during such trial.
    (3) Any retail theft of property, the full retail value of which exceeds $150, is a Class 3 felony. When a charge of retail theft of property, the full value of which exceeds $150, is brought, the value of the property involved is an element of the offense to be resolved by the trier of fact as either exceeding or not exceeding $150.
    (Source: P.A. 85‑691.)



    As you can see charges hit the felony level when the merchandise is valued at greater then $150.00 or the suspect has prior convictions for any type of theft, robbery, armed robbery, burglary, residential burglary, possession of burglary tools or home invasion. Robbery is a seperate offense and retail theft isn't upgraded to it here. We would add resisting arrest to the charges.

    I regards to this question:

    This is where the waters get pretty murky. If a peace officer directs a private citizen to assist him (or her) that person then is cloaked with the peace officers authority and immunity. Without that, a private citizen is on his own when it comes to civil and criminalliability for his actions. The statute on retail theft spells out the rights of a merchant (or his agent, the Loss Prevention Specialist) to detain a suspect:

    (720 ILCS 5/16A‑5) (from Ch. 38, par. 16A‑5)
    Sec. 16A‑5. Detention. Any merchant who has reasonable grounds to believe that a person has committed retail theft may detain such person, on or off the premises of a retail mercantile establishment, in a reasonable manner and for a reasonable length of time for all or any of the following purposes:
    (a) To request identification;
    (b) To verify such identification;
    (c) To make reasonable inquiry as to whether such person has in his possession unpurchased merchandise and, to make reasonable investigation of the ownership of such merchandise;
    (d) To inform a peace officer of the detention of the person and surrender that person to the custody of a peace officer;
    (e) In the case of a minor, to immediately make a reasonable attempt to inform the parents, guardian or other private person interested in the welfare of that minor and, at the merchant's discretion, a peace officer, of this detention and to surrender custody of such minor to such person.
    A merchant may make a detention as permitted herein off the premises of a retail mercantile establishment only if such detention is pursuant to an immediate pursuit of such person.
    A merchant shall be deemed to have reasonable grounds to make a detention for the purposes of this Section if the merchant detains a person because such person has in his possession either a theft detection shielding device or a theft detection device remover.
    (Source: P.A. 91‑468, eff. 1‑1‑00.)

    (720 ILCS 5/16A‑6) (from Ch. 38, par. 16A‑6)
    Sec. 16A‑6. Affirmative Defense. A detention as permitted in this Article does not constitute an arrest or an unlawful restraint, as defined in Section 10‑3 of this Code, nor shall it render the merchant liable to the person so detained.


    The law protects the merchant from false arrest and unlawful restraint charges by saying that the detention of the suspect does not constitute an arrest. What the law is unclear about is how much force the merchant or his agent is permitted to use to enforce this detention. The law clearly allows a private citizen to use force to make an arrest (but doesn't protect them from civil liability if they are sued) but says nothing about a private citizen using force to detain someone.

    If you look at the paragraph before the one you quoted in your last post you'll find that:

    (720 ILCS 5/7‑6) (from Ch. 38, par. 7‑6)
    Sec. 7‑6. Private person's use of force in making arrest.
    (a) A private person who makes, or assists another private person in making a lawful arrest is justified in the use of any force which he would be justified in using if he were summoned or directed by a peace officer to make such arrest, except that he is justified in the use of force likely to cause death or great bodily harm only when he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or another.
    (b) A private person who is summoned or directed by a peace officer to assist in making an arrest which is unlawful, is justified in the use of any force which he would be justified in using if the arrest were lawful, unless he knows that the arrest is unlawful.
    (Source: Laws 1961, p. 1983.)


    Essentially, a private citizen can use the same force a peace officer can use to make an arrest. Remember how I said that if a peace officer asked a private citizen for assistance the person essentially became a peace officer temporarily in the eyes of the law. That's what they are referring to with the line about summoned or directed by a peace officer. But we have the sticky problem that in Illinois the merchant detains the retail theft suspect and the peace officer makes the arrest. And as you posted from 720 ILCS 5/7-7 the Wal-Mart perp is not forbidden from resisting arrest from a private person. The perp is only prohibited from resisting peace officers or citizens acting under the direction of a peace officer:

    (720 ILCS 5/31‑1) (from Ch. 38, par. 31‑1)
    Sec. 31‑1. Resisting or obstructing a peace officer or correctional institution employee.
    (a) A person who knowingly resists or obstructs the performance by one known to the person to be a peace officer or correctional institution employee of any authorized act within his official capacity commits a Class A misdemeanor.
    (a‑5) In addition to any other sentence that may be imposed, a court shall order any person convicted of resisting or obstructing a peace officer to be sentenced to a minimum of 48 consecutive hours of imprisonment or ordered to perform community service for not less than 100 hours as may be determined by the court. The person shall not be eligible for probation in order to reduce the sentence of imprisonment or community service.
    (a‑7) A person convicted for a violation of this Section whose violation was the proximate cause of an injury to a peace officer is guilty of a Class 4 felony.
    (b) For purposes of this Section, "correctional institution employee" means any person employed to supervise and control inmates incarcerated in a penitentiary, State farm, reformatory, prison, jail, house of correction, police detention area, half‑way house, or other institution or place for the incarceration or custody of persons under sentence for offenses or awaiting trial or sentence for offenses, under arrest for an offense, a violation of probation, a violation of parole, or a violation of mandatory supervised release, or awaiting a bail setting hearing or preliminary hearing, or who are sexually dangerous persons or who are sexually violent persons.
    (Source: P.A. 92‑841, eff. 8‑22‑02.)


    Now in real life I'm sure the states attorney would charge assault or battery or whatever charge was appropriate if the perp resisted arrest by a citizen. But what you're looking at in the original situation is not knowing exactly what's going on. You're jumping into some pretty murky water by getting involved in the situation as originally posted. If on the off chance that things aren't as they seem to be you could be in for a bunch of civil and maybe even criminal liability. I guess the law must be similar in PA if the woman you arrested wasn't charged with resisting arrest.

    The situation as originally described is one of those that there is no right answer for. Everyone will have to make his or herown decision about what to do when they are confronted with it. Like I said earlier, I can't condemn anyone who said they'd take action. But in those circumstances I wouldn't have and I articulated my reasons why.

    Check your PM about the patch.

    Jeff
     
  25. 38SnubFan

    38SnubFan Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Messages:
    451
    Location:
    Harrisburg, PA
    Jeff,

    Thanks for the reply. It gets a little busy here but I've been so addicted to THR that I'm usually checking my replies before going to bed at night. We also have internet access in my office at the mall, so luckily after the mall closes or when I have a break from patrol I get a chance to log in here then as well.

    I can honestly say that there are some differences between the laws of retail theft and private person's arrest between PA and IL. Your statutes seem to be much more modern and updated than ours, and I can onky dream of a $150.00 retail theft being a felony. In PA, that amount is only a felony if it's the third or subsequent conviction. Otherwise, it's a summary offense for first conviction or misdemeanor for second conviction. Most of our merchants won't even prosecute for that amount if they can get the merchandise back in the same condition it left the store in.

    Also let me correct myself from where you quoted me about civil liability. As far as criminally liable for assisting or making the arrest, that would be a "no." Civil liability? I'm not sure. I guess anyone can sue anybody for anything (and in today's society this seems to be the case), but I know typically in my area a judge will throw out civil liability for an arrest if the judge in the criminal case has ruled out criminal liability.

    In PA though, any person apprehended for a crime is considered an arrest, and I do remember my company (which is based out of IL) describing a difference between arrest and detainment during my initial training seminars. In PA, we consider detainment the act of stopping someone to question them without apprehending them (such as Suspicious Person complaints where it turns out there was no incident).

    An arrest here made by a private security agent is carried under the same statute as a private citizen, and thus is written to allow a private person to assist another in arrest. I can clearly see from your last post that Illinois does not make a clear specification on assisting with a citizen's arrest, which I'll comment on in a second here, but the fact that a merchant or their agent is protected when making an apprehension is a good law to have on the books. If such were the case here in PA, I think the merchants in my mall would apt to be more pro-active in loss prevention and would actually pursue the "thugs" that repeatedly steal from their stores.

    As far as the woman in the case I described to you, I'm not sure if Resisting Arrest was a charge brought against her or not. A person resisting from either our officers or the local police is pretty commonplace (I hear of at least one foot pursuit a local police officer engages in per week) in the area where I work, as are the robbery and drug arrests which it stems from. I do know however that a gentleman I assisted in arresting the day after I arrested the woman in the nail salon was charged with resisting arrest AND robbery, for he did attempt to flee from all loss prevention/public safety officers involved as well as biting the LP in the arm and attempting to pull a knife from his pocket and slash me when I went to pull his left arm back behind him.

    Knowing the laws of your state as you have presented them to me, I would have to be skeptical of assisting in a private arrest as the law there isn't clear. Here in PA the law is a little bit clearer, so I think our difference in opinion did lie based on the differences between our state statutes.

    I'll remember if I'm in Illinois, and see a merchant or his agent running after a shoplifter heading my direction, to not block the fleeing man and instead politely yell to the security agent, "Run faster!" :D :neener: Thank you again for not being offended by those of us who would take action. Thank you also for being specific about why you wouldn't intervene based our your state's laws, and I'll agree with you and take heed to that should I get the chance to visit your fine state (I'll also heed the advice to bring a windbreaker when in Chicago ;) ).

    Jeff, again it's a pleasure to debate with you. Sorry again for any harsh words I started between us earlier. I sent you a reply to your PM regarding the patch as well.

    Sincerely,
    Matthew Webb
     
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