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Texas Citizen's Arrest

This is a discussion on Texas Citizen's Arrest within the LEO Talk forums, part of the Protect & Serve category; Can someone tell me the proper method in Texas in executing a valid citizen's arrest?...


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Old 08-09-2002, 01:31 PM   #1
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Texas Citizen's Arrest

Can someone tell me the proper method in Texas in executing a valid citizen's arrest?
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Old 08-09-2002, 10:51 PM   #2
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Re: Texas Citizen's Arrest

Even attempting a citizen's arrest is setting your self up for a heap of legal troubles. If you aren't at least 110% right the arrestee can sue your butt off and win.
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Old 08-10-2002, 09:15 AM   #3
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Re: Texas Citizen's Arrest

You can do a search on the internet for the Texas Statutes. Most states require that a citizens arrest be executed in the presence of a law enforcement officer.
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Old 08-10-2002, 03:43 PM   #4
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Re: Texas Citizen's Arrest

Most states require that a citizens arrest be executed in the presence of a law enforcement officer.

then why bother???
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Old 08-10-2002, 03:51 PM   #5
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Re: Texas Citizen's Arrest

With everyone having cell phones and the 911 system why would you put yourself in that situation.

The best advice would be, if you can use your cell phone and follow the person at a safe distance and wait for the police. Identify the perp and then let the trained professionals do their job.
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Old 08-10-2002, 06:46 PM   #6
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Re: Texas Citizen's Arrest

Quote:
Originally posted by Dogpack:
Most states require that a citizens arrest be executed in the presence of a law enforcement officer.

then why bother???
Exactly the point.
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Old 08-13-2002, 12:21 PM   #7
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Re: Texas Citizen's Arrest

I believe a high-pitched, Gomer Pyle-like: "Citizens arrest-citizens arrest" is still valid down in Mayberry.
BUT, I think that's just for minor traffic infractions...
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Old 08-17-2002, 11:53 AM   #8
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Re: Texas Citizen's Arrest

Texas penal code states that ANY person May make a lawful arrest for a felony offense committed in their presence. But just because the law says you can, dosent mean that you wont find yourself being sued. It all depends on the situation that is unfolding in front of you. For example, if you see a person stealing a car (other than yours) you should call the police. However if you see a man trying to abduct a little girl then I doubt any court would argue your actions. You can also temporarily detain someone until the police arrive without actually "arresting" them.
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Old 08-17-2002, 01:42 PM   #9
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Re: Texas Citizen's Arrest

Hey Guys,

I will tell you a story about an incident that happened to me in Houston about 15 years ago. My family and I were on our way to church on Sunday morning, and as I was driving down Aldine Mail Route, I witnessed a pickup truck pulling out of a Jack-in-the-Box and he crossed over the yellow line and sideswiped a car going in the other direction. He had pulled out way too wide, and it was obvious that he was impaired. When he hit the other car, he just kept on driving away, like he didn't even realize what he had done. It all happened right in front of me about fifty feet away.

I stopped just long enough to roll my window down and ask the people (who by this time were stopped in the gravel on the side of the road) if everyone was okay. They looked disoriented, but not injured, and they said they were okay. I took off after the guy, to see where he was going. I had no cell phone, so I just chased him. My wife just shook her head... she knew me and knew I wasn't going to let go of this. I noticed that he was weaving all over the road, and some of the cars coming from the opposite direction were literally having to pull off the road to keep from being hit. He turned into a subdivision and I stayed on his tail. He finally stopped in the middle of the street and got out, leaving the door to the truck open and the engine running. He walked up to a house and started banging on the door, and yelling. He was obviously high. I parked behind his truck and got out. I went to the truck and peered in... and then I turned off his ignition and kept his keys. I ran over to a house across the street and knocked on the door. A man's voice asked who I was and what I wanted. I told him to call the police and let them know that I had a hit-and-run driver outside.

By that time, the guy was already walking back to his truck, and he started cursing when he couldn't drive it. I walked up to him and kept my distance, and was wondering where the cops were. He started getting very "mouthy" with me and demanding I give him his keys back. I told him that the police were on their way, and I would give his keys to the police, and they could decide whether he should be driving or not. He came at me and was going to try to grab me, and I side-stepped him and grabbed him from behind, in a bear-hug. I slammed him on the hood of my car and grabbed his arm and twisted it up behind his back. He was so high he was feeling no pain whatsoever, and I swear I was afraid I was going to literally break his arm, because he kept squirming.

I asked my wife to hand me my handcuffs, which I had left over from my days as a reserve deputy, and kept in my glove box. I cuffed him and held him there leaning over my hood until the cops finally showed up. At that time, there was no CCW laws available in Texas, so I was not armed. The Sheriff's Deputy that arrived had just been on Aldine Mail Route with another unit to investigate the hit-and-run accident. I explained to him that I was a witness, and I offered him all of the information he needed. He took my statement, and than he felt obliged to tell me that I took unneccessary risks in detaining this man. I agreed with him that it could have been a dangerous situation, but I felt that I was in full control, and I didn't want to see the guy kill someone with his truck.

The Deputy kind of smiled, and looked around and said in a hushed voice, "You did good... thanks." That made my day. I felt like I made a difference. I would do it again today if the same thing happened. The main difference today is that many people are armed, legally or not, and I would be more cautious in how I approached the situation, and be ready to defend my life if necessary. But all in all, I think I did the right thing.

Funny, I never actually did the Gomer Pyle thing and say, "Citizen's arrest, citizen's arrest!" but it was an arrest either way... and it was appreciated.

I got your back,

Stephen King
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Old 08-17-2002, 07:06 PM   #10
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Re: Texas Citizen's Arrest

Hi everyone! I talked with my friend Sarge who is the chief instructor at the Jefferson County Sherrif's Academy about "citizen's arrest." He said "DON'T DO IT!" There are too many laws favoring the bad guys for a citizen to get involved in what is very risky behavior. Sarge said it would have to be life thretening before he would make an arrest when off duty because of the same laws. He told me to call the cops and be prepared to be a good witness in court.
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