Search: citizen's arrest
Why: And can I make one? And how?
Answer: Sure! In many/most countries, a private citizen has the right to detain a suspected criminal until law enforcement personnel can assume custody.
The practice can be traced back to English common law during the Middle Ages, although each country or state can modify the rules of engagement. During the earliest days of modern justice systems, performing a citizen's arrest was a much more common practice. Merchants would routinely detain shoplifters and thieves caught in the act, often bringing them directly to a local constable's office for trial.Now, the practice is less common because a) there are more policemen and b) criminals are better armed. Some reasons to not perform a citizen's arrest:
- You could get seriously injured or dead.
- If you make a mistake and detain an innocent suspect, you could be srsly fckd.
- You witness a mugging and then detain the mugger.
- You witness a scenario with serious potential for crime, e.g. a masked man walking toward a car with a crowbar.
This would still be true even if the 'crime' turned out to be a misunderstanding. If someone sees a man climbing through a broken window, he cannot be held responsible for false arrest if the man turns out to be the owner of the building who lost his keys.But your best bet is just to observe the details of the suspect and the crime scene, like a license plate number, physical description, type of weapon, number of times he bludgeons that hobo, etc. Then you can tell the police and make a signed statement with intent to press charges.
The More You Know: Do you know the difference between e.g. and i.e.? A quick review:
- e.g. - exempli gratia, "for example"
I watched several movies this weekend, e.g. Heathers, Dinocroc vs. Supergator, Beetlejuice, and at least half of Oldboy.
- i.e. - id est, "that is"
My imminent new favorite movie, i.e. Roger Corman's Sharktopus, still does not have a goddamn release date.