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Thread: Situational awareness and how I failed at it.

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    Situational awareness and how I failed at it.

    Wednesday, I think it was Wednesday, I was at the South Hill mall in Puyallup with a friend to grab some stuff for my sons birthday party and get some lunch.

    We both ordered our food and waited for our orders to be called when I hear this lady saying "Sir, sir, hey". I thought she was about to tell me my gun was showing or something.

    I turn to look at her and realize she's not talking to me and she's carrying her son who's maybe 2 years old. At this point I notice she's trying to get the attention of a security guard and that's when I hear her say "that guy just kicked my son in the head".

    I turn to see who this guy is and I don't see anyone, so I start to wonder if this lady is a bit on the crazy side and maybe the guy just bumped into her son. Her son wasn't crying or bleeding and didn't seem to be distressed in any way.

    At this point I'm beginning to think this lady is working some sort of scam and then my food order gets called and I go sit down.

    This lady and a female security guard go into the bathrooms for a minute and I decide to sit facing them so I can see what's going on if there's going to be a "show".

    A minute or so later, this guy in his 60's with the wrap around black sunglasses that men of his age are known to wear on occasion comes speed walking out of the bathrooms with the lady and the security guard in tow.

    Two male security guards stand in his path and he proceeds to try and bowl right through them like they aren't even there, which results in him kind of bouncing off of them.

    He then pushes the larger of the 2 male security guards. This is where it gets more interesting. The security guard he pushed grabs him by the arm and throws the guy to the ground with kind of a modified arm drag/Uchi Mata and the guy goes flying head over heels and smacks onto the tile floor.

    I almost jumped out of my seat is was that impressive. I also kicked myself for not filming the whole thing on my phone to at least have what happened on video.
    Security then cuffed him and waited for the police to show up.

    I saw the cops talk to a few people who must have seen him kick the kid and overheard them talking about how strange the guy was acting so I assume he did kick the kid.

    In the end, I couldn't believe I didn't see him kick the kid since it happened about 15 feet from me and then I failed again by not filming the incident.

    Had I been paying more attention to my surroundings and had I seen him kick a 2 year old, I would have felt obligated to stop him from going anywhere. My friend and I were both armed, not that it mattered, and neither of us was paying enough attention to what was going on around us.

    Kind of a little lesson in how important some of our other skills are rather than just how well we shoot a gun.

    Sorry for the super long post.
    Last edited by irish52084; 03-21-2011 at 12:59 AM.

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    Regular Member HK_dave's Avatar
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    you can't see everything...
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    Regular Member SpyderTattoo's Avatar
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    Brother, two helpful hints here. One, this has nothing to do with open carry, and Two, you need to use paragraphs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpyderTattoo View Post
    Brother, two helpful hints here. One, this has nothing to do with open carry, and Two, you need to use paragraphs.
    +1
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    Last edited by Bill Starks; 03-20-2011 at 01:53 PM.

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    2 points - don't lose the message...

    People can argue that this isn't about OC, and I couldn't disagree more!

    Maintaining a High degree of Situational Awareness (SA) goes hand in hand with pistol and holster. It is imperative to maintain this at ALL times, but even more when you are packing, so as to avoid being caught with your pants down (figuratively speaking).

    I had a similar situation last spring that I posted about a guy coming up and banging on my window and I was disgusted with myself BECAUSE I let my guard down.

    I chalk this up to another good citizen sharing that we all (as OC Community) can always improve our SA and this is a journey of a practive and not a destination.

    Thanks for sharing.

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    Regular Member SpyderTattoo's Avatar
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    That's great... But the story still didn't have anything to do with open carry. There is a General Forum for this kind of thing. We're not trying to be mean, but sometimes newer members here need to be reminded of what the rules here are.

    This forum does a superb job of policing itself. Sometimes some of us might come off as being a little harsh, but we're just trying to keep things on track. Believe me, many of us have dealt with this same kind of situation here before.

    Try not to take this personally, but more like helpful criticism.
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    Yeah, I should have posted this in general discussion, I wasn't paying enough attention. I also should have double spaced my paragraphs. Believe it on not I did actually attempt to use some structure. lol

    I'm not gonna get offended or bothered by people telling me I didn't break up my wall of text, cuz it's annoying to read. I am generally a stickler for rules and I should have known better than to post this outside of the general discussion section.

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    Regular Member elixin77's Avatar
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    I find my SA entails me knowing and acknowledging general things, like the color of clothes, but not style; or the general placement of people; or if someone just made a rapid movement. I don't generally see the small stuff, like someone walking with a limp, or the logo on a shirt, etc etc, unless I study them for a couple seconds, which affects the rest of my SA.

    If I was in your situation, I more than likely wouldn't have seen the altercation either. I probably would have noted that there were a couple people were this situation happened, but not taken note of what exactly happened. However, if someone moves faster than the people around him, or makes a sudden movement, then my eyes are reading that person like a book, until I'm satisfied that what he's doing isn't a threat in any way, shape, or form.
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    Regular Member fire suppressor's Avatar
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    Although one person on here dose not agree this story applies to open carry I could not disagree more. This is a open carry forum and it applies to everything open carry not just story's that take place from my guns point of view. A SA story involves every single open carrier everyday.
    Thanks for sharing I know it is not easy to post a new thread when you feel a error has been made, it is a good reminder to us all. I'm not the biggest fan of bystanders filming altercations unless they involve the RP directly but that is a opinion and certainly nothing against you. Thanks for sharing
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    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by irish52084 View Post
    Wednesday, I think it was Wednesday, I was at the South Hill mall in Puyallup with a friend to grab some stuff for my sons birthday party and get some lunch.

    We both ordered our food and waited for our orders to be called when I hear this lady saying "Sir, sir, hey". I thought she was about to tell me my gun was showing or something.

    I turn to look at her and realize she's not talking to me and she's carrying her son who's maybe 2 years old. At this point I notice she's trying to get the attention of a security guard and that's when I hear her say "that guy just kicked my son in the head".

    I turn to see who this guy is and I don't see anyone, so I start to wonder if this lady is a bit on the crazy side and maybe the guy just bumped into her son. Her son wasn't crying or bleeding and didn't seem to be distressed in any way.

    At this point I'm beginning to think this lady is working some sort of scam and then my food order gets called and I go sit down.

    This lady and a female security guard go into the bathrooms for a minute and I decide to sit facing them so I can see what's going on if there's going to be a "show".

    A minute or so later, this guy in his 60's with the wrap around black sunglasses that men of his age are known to wear on occasion comes speed walking out of the bathrooms with the lady and the security guard in tow.

    Two male security guards stand in his path and he proceeds to try and bowl right through them like they aren't even there, which results in him kind of bouncing off of them.

    He then pushes the larger of the 2 male security guards. This is where it gets more interesting. The security guard he pushed grabs him by the arm and throws the guy to the ground with kind of a modified arm drag/Uchi Mata and the guy goes flying head over heels and smacks onto the tile floor.

    I almost jumped out of my seat is was that impressive. I also kicked myself for not filming the whole thing on my phone to at least have what happened on video.
    Security then cuffed him and waited for the police to show up.

    I saw the cops talk to a few people who must have seen him kick the kid and overheard them talking about how strange the guy was acting so I assume he did kick the kid.

    In the end, I couldn't believe I didn't see him kick the kid since it happened about 15 feet from me and then I failed again by not filming the incident.

    Had I been paying more attention to my surroundings and had I seen him kick a 2 year old, I would have felt obligated to stop him from going anywhere. My friend and I were both armed, not that it mattered, and neither of us was paying enough attention to what was going on around us.

    Kind of a little lesson in how important some of our other skills are rather than just how well we shoot a gun.

    Sorry for the super long post.
    Wow. A Mall ninja can push a man in his 60's down. Real hero. Good thing there were two others for backup if the old guy got up. If in fact the guy didn't "kick" the child, he will be driving a new Mercedes soon. Battery against a person over 60 in many states is "special circumstances." It is in CO; not sure about WA. If so, it becomes a class 2 felony. So the Mall would be buying him the car; the hero Mall Stormtrooper would be vacationing at the state's expense. Be glad you weren't involved. If the woman was a wacko and you got involved you could be looking at a felony arrest. You saw nothing and had no affirmative defense for acting and would then be liable both civilly and criminally. If you even touched your gun, a case could be made for aggravated assault with special circumstances. And that would be bad juju.
    Last edited by Gunslinger; 03-21-2011 at 03:17 PM.

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    Regular Member sultan62's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunslinger View Post
    Wow. A Mall ninja can push a man in his 60's down. Real hero. Good thing there were two others for backup if the old guy got up. If in fact the guy didn't "kick" the child, he will be driving a new Mercedes soon. Battery against a person over 60 in many states is "special circumstances." It is in CO; not sure about WA. If so, it becomes a class 2 felony. So the Mall would be buying him the car; the hero Mall Stormtrooper would be vacationing at the state's expense. Be glad you weren't involved. If the woman was a wacko and you got involved you could be looking at a felony arrest. You saw nothing and had no affirmative defense for acting and would then be liable both civilly and criminally. If you even touched your gun, a case could be made for aggravated assault with special circumstances. And that would be bad juju.
    Perhaps we read different stories, but I read about an older gentlemen assaulting the security guards.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunslinger View Post
    Wow. A Mall ninja can push a man in his 60's down. Real hero. Good thing there were two others for backup if the old guy got up. If in fact the guy didn't "kick" the child, he will be driving a new Mercedes soon. Battery against a person over 60 in many states is "special circumstances." It is in CO; not sure about WA. If so, it becomes a class 2 felony. So the Mall would be buying him the car; the hero Mall Stormtrooper would be vacationing at the state's expense. Be glad you weren't involved. If the woman was a wacko and you got involved you could be looking at a felony arrest. You saw nothing and had no affirmative defense for acting and would then be liable both civilly and criminally. If you even touched your gun, a case could be made for aggravated assault with special circumstances. And that would be bad juju.
    The man refused to stop for security, tried to walk right through them and then shoved the security guard, so I don't see how the security guard taking him down is an issue.

    The man may have been in his early 60's, but that is just a guess, he could have been much younger with salt and pepper hair. He wasn't physically frail from what I could tell.

    As for me, I would not have gotten involved unless I saw him kick the kid. I certainly wouldn't have drawn my gun on him for it, but I would have made sure he didn't run away from what he had done if I had seen him do it. As it was, I didn't see him do anything and I didn't get involved.

    I'd like to think, if it was my son that he kicked, I'd have been calm enough to get security to deal with him. I honestly don't think I'd would have though. Not that I'd shoot him or anything, but he'd probably have felt a lot worse than he did after that security guard tossed him.
    Last edited by irish52084; 03-21-2011 at 04:18 PM.

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    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by irish52084 View Post
    The man refused to stop for security, tried to walk right through them and then shoved the security guard, so I don't see how the security guard taking him down is an issue.

    The man may have been in his early 60's, but that is just a guess, he could have been much younger with salt and pepper hair. He wasn't physically frail from what I could tell.

    As for me, I would not have gotten involved unless I saw him kick the kid. I certainly wouldn't have drawn my gun on him for it, but I would have made sure he didn't run away from what he had done if I had seen him do it. As it was, I didn't see him do anything and I didn't get involved.

    I'd like to think, if it was my son that he kicked, I'd have been calm enough to get security to deal with him. I honestly don't think I'd would have though. Not that I'd shoot him or anything, but he'd probably have felt a lot worse than he did after that security guard tossed him.
    I'm not faulting you, and if it was my child things would have gotten unpleasant. However, unless he did it; if he did it but only the woman witnessed it--'he said she said'; if there is a special circumstances statute in WA; the guards had no authority to stop him unless "they" witnessed him do it. He would have been within his rights to resist an unlawful detention; he may have committed simple battery, they felonious battery. You cannot meet simple assault with aggravated or felonious assault which is what special circumstances entails. Lots of 'ifs' as you didn't actually see it happen--if it did.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sultan62 View Post
    Perhaps we read different stories, but I read about an older gentlemen assaulting the security guards.
    That's what I read.

    I don't know the law where this happened, but, in Alabama, once the old man made contact with the security guards, they (as ordinary citizens) would be authorized to arrest him and to use as much force as the old man caused to be necessary to effect that arrest.

    I'd have to double check, but once the mother related the assault to the security guards and solicited their help, they may have, at that point, been authorized to do a citizen's arrest. Like I said, I'd have to double check that one.

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    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sultan62 View Post
    Perhaps we read different stories, but I read about an older gentlemen assaulting the security guards.
    Resisting unlawful detention by other than a cop is an affirmative defense for battery--and in some cases so is it for the use of deadly force, viz., stopping a kidnapping attempt. Simple assault, met by felonious assault is defensible, given a special circumstances law. The old guy may be guilty; with a SC law making the response felonious, the Mall Ninja is going down, too. No different than police pounding some guy who committed a misdemeanor and being charged for excessive force. And cops have a lot more room in this area than some $6.50 an hour Mall security guy. I'd like to see how this shakes out.

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    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    That's what I read.

    I don't know the law where this happened, but, in Alabama, once the old man made contact with the security guards, they (as ordinary citizens) would be authorized to arrest him and to use as much force as the old man caused to be necessary to effect that arrest.

    I'd have to double check, but once the mother related the assault to the security guards and solicited their help, they may have, at that point, been authorized to do a citizen's arrest. Like I said, I'd have to double check that one.
    ARRRRRRRRRRRRHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG !!!!!! Simple assault cannot be met with felonious assault in AL, WA or Eastern, Southcentral Texas. Unless they witnessed the alleged activity, they or you have no authority to detain under any so called 'citizen's arrest' provision. If they do, they assume complete liability for their actions and his attempting to escape unlawful detention is completely justified--even to the use of reasonable force--perhaps even deadly force against disparity of strength. Their response is not. His word against hers, based on the info we have right now. In a court of law, she loses. And so does the mall and the hero ninjas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunslinger View Post
    ARRRRRRRRRRRRHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG !!!!!! Simple assault cannot be met with felonious assault in AL, WA or Eastern, Southcentral Texas. Unless they witnessed the alleged activity, they or you have no authority to detain under any so called 'citizen's arrest' provision. If they do, they assume complete liability for their actions and his attempting to escape unlawful detention is completely justified--even to the use of reasonable force--perhaps even deadly force against disparity of strength. Their response is not. His word against hers, based on the info we have right now. In a court of law, she loses. And so does the mall and the hero ninjas.
    Simple assault is not a concept in AL law.

    In effecting a citizen's arrest, any assault can be met with a reasonable level of force to stop it. Logically speaking, that will be slightly more force than was presented. If the BG keeps resisting, the levels of force used will, naturally, ratchet up, until either the criminal stops resisting or the level of force passes the "felony assault" line (even though it would not be a felony as it is authorized under law) and possibly continues up to deadly force.

    I have read the statute in AL numerous times. Shall I quote it for you?

    Oh, and ARGH, back atcha, matey!

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    Campaign Veteran gogodawgs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpyderTattoo View Post
    Brother, two helpful hints here. One, this has nothing to do with open carry, and Two, you need to use paragraphs.
    Quote Originally Posted by gogodawgs View Post
    +1
    Quote Originally Posted by SpyderTattoo View Post
    That's great... But the story still didn't have anything to do with open carry. There is a General Forum for this kind of thing. We're not trying to be mean, but sometimes newer members here need to be reminded of what the rules here are.

    This forum does a superb job of policing itself. Sometimes some of us might come off as being a little harsh, but we're just trying to keep things on track. Believe me, many of us have dealt with this same kind of situation here before.

    Try not to take this personally, but more like helpful criticism.
    Apparently we were correct Spyder... thread moved.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunslinger View Post
    Wow. A Mall ninja can push a man in his 60's down. Real hero. Good thing there were two others for backup if the old guy got up. If in fact the guy didn't "kick" the child, he will be driving a new Mercedes soon. Battery against a person over 60 in many states is "special circumstances." It is in CO; not sure about WA. If so, it becomes a class 2 felony. So the Mall would be buying him the car; the hero Mall Stormtrooper would be vacationing at the state's expense. Be glad you weren't involved. If the woman was a wacko and you got involved you could be looking at a felony arrest. You saw nothing and had no affirmative defense for acting and would then be liable both civilly and criminally. If you even touched your gun, a case could be made for aggravated assault with special circumstances. And that would be bad juju.
    You are totally ignoring some of the "testimony" a non partisan observer. The man was in escape mode and he assaulted the security guard. In addition you are going places with you inane comments that the OP didn't even start to go. Look before you jump and you aren't so like to land in the prickly pear patch.
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    If we could, let's get this back on topic.

    I was trying to use a situation I encountered to point out that being aware of our surroundings is as important as our gun handling skills. I think awareness is sometimes overlooked for the sexier topics of gear selection and firearms manipulation.

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    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldCurlyWolf View Post
    You are totally ignoring some of the "testimony" a non partisan observer. The man was in escape mode and he assaulted the security guard. In addition you are going places with you inane comments that the OP didn't even start to go. Look before you jump and you aren't so like to land in the prickly pear patch.
    Cite the 'testimony' I'm ignoring by an observer who saw the man kick the child. Facts not in evidence. I don't make "inane ('void of sense or intelligence') comments." When I offer a suggestion of other criminal or civil liability, I do so from fact, generally quoting either RSA or case law. I mentioned "special circumstances" which are a rule of law extenuating a "simple" misdemeanor into a class of felony and exists here in CO. Would you like the RSA citation? I also said I didn't know if WA had this statute. Upon research, I see that they don't except in case of assault involving sexual contact. That renders my suggestion of felony response moot. I also carefully stated to the OP "I'm not faulting you, and if it was my child things would have gotten unpleasant." Failing more actual information, a determination of guilt cannot be formed. As to Eye's comment, I fully accept he speaks from authority on AL law, which would mean they also do not have "special circumstances" with respect to assault.
    Until someone can supply updated facts, not BS nonexistant "testimony of a non partisan ('an adherent, often biased, of a party or cause.' I believe you mean 'participant') observer," I will borrow from my friend Eye:

    Moving on
    Last edited by Gunslinger; 03-22-2011 at 12:22 PM.

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    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    Simple assault is not a concept in AL law.

    In effecting a citizen's arrest, any assault can be met with a reasonable level of force to stop it .............................ONLY IF IT IS A FELONY ARREST........................... Logically speaking, that will be slightly more force than was presented. If the BG keeps resisting, the levels of force used will, naturally, ratchet up, until either the criminal stops resisting or the level of force passes the "felony assault" line (even though it would not be a felony as it is authorized under law) and possibly continues up to deadly force.

    I have read the statute in AL numerous times. Shall I quote it for you?

    Oh, and ARGH, back atcha, matey!
    "Simple assault" is a Common Law term which I like to use because Common Law frames things in an easier to understand manner for non-legal types. In AL, it is misdemeanor assault. Be careful of framing "stops resisting" with a legal use of felony battery. And nowhere can you use deadly force against a resisting subject who has only committed a misdemeanor level crime when making a so called "citizen's arrest."YOU CANNOT MAKE A CITIZEN'S ARREST FOR NON-FELONIES. Resisting can be squirming and thrashing your arms. Unless the resisting moves to felony level--he picks up a baseball bat, you cannot use unreasonable (read felonious) force against him. Using deadly force against an unarmed person you are attempting to arrest will get you a voluntary manslaughter charge--yes, in Alabama, if the crime is a misdemeanor. If there is a disparity in force, sometimes an affirmative defense in using elevated levels of force, you have the duty to retreat if you can. Again, I'm talking about someone who has only committed a non-felony. And a non-cop.

    AL RSA 13A-3-27
    (g) A private person acting on his own account is justified in using 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 from custody of an arrested person whom he reasonably believes has committed a felony and who in fact has committed that felony, 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.


    Even a cop in AL cannot use deadly force against one who is only charged with a misdemeanor, op cit, supra.
    Last edited by Gunslinger; 03-22-2011 at 12:47 PM.

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    In Alabama, an individual may effect a citizen's arrest for any offense committed in his presence or for any felony, whether or not it was committed in his presence. Kicking a child in the head is a felony. If the perpetrator resists arrest, force may be used to stop that resistance. If the perp continues to resist, there will be escalation. Therefore, the arrestor can justifiably (under both self-defense laws and citizen's arrest laws) escalate the level of force he uses to a reasonable level to overcome the level of force from the BG.

    It is possible (not likely, but possible) that the escalation proceeds to the point where the arrestor feels that life or limb is in danger. Under AL self-defense law, he may use deadly force to protect his life or limb.

    In the case at hand, the level of force used by the arrestor was not an unreasonable response to both the attempt by the suspected felon to flee the scene and his attempted use of force to do so.

    (BTW, the citizen's arrest scenarios have been discussed extensively at ALOC with citations of the relevant AL laws. One quirk of AL law is that it is not unlawful to resist a citizen's arrest, which could result in lawful escalation from both parties until someone ends up lawfully dead. This case would be one just like was discussed: A felony was committed outside the view of the arrestor and was over by the time the arrest was effected. The arrestor could legally use force. The perp could claim self-defense in responding to that force. Rinse. Repeat. The cycle stops when the BG stops resisting, the arrestor gives up, or someone dies--lawfully.)

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    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    In Alabama, an individual may effect a citizen's arrest for any offense committed in his presence or for any felony, whether or not it was committed in his presence.


    Cite? That's contradictory to AL RSA 13A-3-27. Wouldn't be the first time statutes seemed to contradict themselves, but I'd like to read it. My citation would seem to preclude the use of 'any' force for a non-felony and only bestow the power for felonies.

    From a friend at Maxwell, AFB:

    In Alabama, citizen's arrests are almost unheard of. You go down to the PD and file a warrant. Detaining anyone for something less than a Class A felony is likely to get you put in jail for false imprisonment. I'm not sure an Alabama officer would even know how to deal with a citizen's arrest.

    Found it. ALA CODE 15-10-7 : Alabama Code - Section 15-10-7: ARRESTS BY PRIVATE PERSONS
    This is from 1852 and I would bet a large sum case law has altered its original intent. Try to make a CA on a jaywalker. It also does NOT specify force being allowed, as does my cite. When I get a slow period, I'll have to look up 'Bama case law.
    Last edited by Gunslinger; 03-22-2011 at 04:04 PM.

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