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pulling a gun on an unarmed civilian that ir running through your yard at night

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by lippidude, Jun 8, 2011.

  1. lippidude

    lippidude portland New Member

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    So a long time ago in high school we used to play this game called fugitive. We would have two teams (cops and fugitives) the fugitives goal was to get from point A to point B on foot without getting caught by the cops( high schoolers with cars). the point of the game is to get to point B without being tagged by a cop.

    Where I have a question is, We had a kid whom hopped a fence and attempted to run through a unknown persons backyard to get over the next fence and so on to short cut running down streets. When the kid attempted the second fence he was pulled to the ground and butted in the face by a man with a rifle. the man was the house owner.

    I can understand that because some random guy is running through your yard at night and you have every right to know whats up. where it gets sticky is that the man with the rifle held the teenager at gun point taunting him 10 minutes before he finally called the cops and they took the kid off the home owners hands. the home owner had a firm talking to from the cops. Is the home owner actually allowed to hold the kid hostage until the police come?

    Personally i thought it was ridiculous that a man living in a suburban neighborhood felt he needed to scare a helpless teen by holding a gun in his face for a half hour. the kid may have been trespassing, but did he have any rights in this situation?
     
  2. lippidude

    lippidude portland New Member

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    and on a second note, where does citizens arrest begin and end? because Ive always thought that was the biggest swing and a miss of a law.
     
  3. darkminstrel

    darkminstrel PDX Well-Known Member

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    I would tend to believe that a person trespassing on your property can be held untill the authorities arrive...but then again many laws aren't written with general logic in mind.
     
  4. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    This is something of an interesting topic. While in the same circumstances, as the power to arrest varies by state. Interestingly, here in california we have a very liberal (in the absolute, not political sense) set of laws on arrest. Any citizen can put anyone under arrest for a crime they witnessed, or have probable cause to believe committed a crime (a guy running away with a purse, and a woman screaming "he stole my purse"). However, the law gets somewhat murky when firearms become involved. Generally, it's considered ok to hold someone at gun point after the cops have been called, but you're likely to get a tongue lashing if you are sitting there taunting someone for a minor crime (trespassing in this case) with a firearm.

    That said, I don't think the property owner was outside his rights to respond the way he did initially, however he probably should have put the gun away once he found it was just a kid running through his yard. As much fun as it is to play hide and go seek in the neighborhood, there is such a wide "diversity" of people out there these days that your innocent game may be seen as something more sinister. Just imagine if your friend had been running around in the back yard of a grow house (who may have shot him for his trouble), or if the home owner hadn't called the police, and your friend became the victim of a still worse crime (think pulp fiction).
     
  5. Thebastidge

    Thebastidge 10411 NE Fourth Plain Blvd Vancouver WA 98662 Well-Known Member

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    There's no "swing and miss". The law is pretty clear. Citizen's arrest in WA State requires that the citizen witness a felony. If the home owner believed the "kid" was trying to burglarize the place, he's within the law. If he thought the kid was simply trespassing, he exceed his authorization under the law by using deadly force, but was still authorized to use physical force against a trespasser. Even if he was just trespassing there's no telling what he's just done somewhere else and is currently running "from".

    I see nothing ridiculous about the situation except for people not teaching their kids any manners or common sense. What we call "teeange boys" in this country and this time in history, have been killing other people for thousands of years. In fact the vast, VAST majority of violent crime in our country is committed by males, age 14-25. The DOJ has complete statistics on their website- look it up.

    Maybe the punk will learn a lesson and straighten up. Having a firearm pointed at you is a very focussing event. Let's hope it's never necessary again.
     
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  6. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    In the Stae of Oregon it is illegal to point a firearm at a person except for reasons of self defense. If he actually pointed the rifle at the kid he went to far. Pulling him off the fences and head butting him was most likely within reason. If he actually pointed the rifle at the kid rather then stand there holding it muzzle down he went to far.

    Now to the Moron kid..........................Well maybe you guys are better suited to video games. I know if I caught you in my backyard in the middle of the night you would be riding home in the back of a police car at the very least.
     
  7. nubus

    nubus Guest

    OK, so I'm commenting without all the facts, BUT...
    Only the trespass was committed at the time of detainment, which is not a felony.
    You cannot arrest for something you think someone is trying to do, you must witness it.
    Even had a burglary begun, it's not a felony unless they are armed or assault someone.
    Or they would have had to have stolen or vandalized over $250 in damages to become a felony.
     
  8. PBinWA

    PBinWA Clark County Well-Known Member

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    When you are "young" you often think you can do a lot of things that in reality you have no right to do.

    I think the Castle Doctrine should extend to your property line.

    I heard knees can be broken when jumping fences. I think this kid got off easy.
     
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  9. coop44

    coop44 Tacoma ,WA Well-Known Member

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    I would have never called the law. To put a real scare into him I would have had him start digging a hole in the back yard.
     
  10. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    "There are two kinds of people in this world, the people with guns, and the people who dig"
     
  11. lippidude

    lippidude portland New Member

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    a majority of Americans don't know their own rights, so that's where citizens arrest is a swing and a miss. Thus the man holding the kid at gun point illegally. Also it is ridiculous, are you saying you never did anything wrong as a teenager. Kids want to have fun, ya fun may have gone to far in that instance, but forcing them to dig holes and threatening them will only make them more likely to become violent later on. I think its safe to say if someone made you dig a hole for your life, or held a loaded rifle to your head when they were not allowed to, you would be a little angry with them afterwards and want some sort of retribution. If kids are to blame for violence then I think alot of this is a product of what they see as okay behavior from older generations. This armed man set no example with what he did, or the cops would not have talked to him. ya teenagers are god damn annoying, but pointing a gun at one to show him whos boss will make them feel they need to point a gun back, and im pretty sure we dont want those teenagers to later on own guns because they will be the ones to give all gun owners a bad name. I love guns, but they dont teach respect, the teach fear and fuel anger when used incorrectly.
     
  12. One-Eyed Ross

    One-Eyed Ross Winlock, WA Well-Known Member

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    RCW 9A.16.020 Use of force
    The use, attempt, or offer to use force upon or toward the person of another is not unlawful in the following cases:

    (4) Whenever reasonably used by a person to detain someone who enters or remains unlawfully in a building or on real property lawfully in the possession of such person, so long as such detention is reasonable in duration and manner to investigate the reason for the detained person's presence on the premises, and so long as the premises in question did not reasonably appear to be intended to be open to members of the public;

    In Washington, it would seem that this action would be legal, although perhaps a bit over the top...
     
  13. Russianfist

    Russianfist Sweet home, Oregon Active Member

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    I find it impressive that the property own was on the kid (rifle in hand) before he hi the second fence. The owner was most likley was just trying to scare the kid (and in reality doing the kid a favor) by taunting him. Ok, so say your friend jumps the same fence and breaks his leg or lands on a garden stake slashing his femeral artery and bleeding to death?
    Now the property owner has serious problems because the STUPIDITY of a teenager.
    Don't get me wrong. I did the same crazy stuff when I was a teenager but I also knew that crossing fences was disrespectful and worse could get you dead.
     
  14. Ben Beckerich

    Ben Beckerich NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    whats up with all this WA law? the OPs in OR.

    and in OR, the ORS states that anyone can put anyone under citizens arrest if the arrestor directly observed the arrestee commit a crime. the amount of force he's able to use? whatever necessary.

    i'll dig it out of the ORS and edit in a few.

    ---

    as promised:

    133.225 Arrest by private person. (1) A private person may arrest another person for any crime committed in the presence of the private person if the private person has probable cause to believe the arrested person committed the crime. A private person making such an arrest shall, without unnecessary delay, take the arrested person before a magistrate or deliver the arrested person to a peace officer.
    (2) In order to make the arrest a private person may use physical force as is justifiable under ORS 161.255.

    161.255 Use of physical force by private person making citizen’s arrest. (1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, a private person acting on the person’s own account is justified in using physical force upon another person when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes it necessary to make an arrest or to prevent the escape from custody of an arrested person whom the person has arrested under ORS 133.225.
    (2) A private person acting under the circumstances prescribed in subsection (1) of this section is justified in using deadly physical force only when the person reasonably believes it necessary for self-defense or to defend a third person from what the person reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of deadly physical force. [1971 c.743 §31; 1973 c.836 §339]

    ---

    pointing a gun at somebody is NOT USING DEADLY FORCE, it's threatening the use of deadly force, and is actually pretty low on the continuum of force. the problem with pointing a gun at somebody during a citizen's arrest is that you can't shoot them for trying to get away- so all you're doing is bluffing, and they may call that bluff.
     
  15. coop44

    coop44 Tacoma ,WA Well-Known Member

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    "i was in fear for my life", or the ever popular law enforcement version, "I thought he had a gun".
    Either should work as justification.

    and

    "It just went off!!"
    or
    "oops"

    Or, when 5 LEO's put several dozen round into a guy with a knife, or a stick, "he was menacing us"

    If cops can get away with murder every day.......
     
  16. mpmax

    mpmax Woodburn Active Member

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    The kid was not "trespassing". That would occur -if- the property owner told him to leave and he -the kid- refused. The home owner had no reason to believe that the kid was doing anything other than traveling through his yard, he obviously wasn't posing a threat, since he was trying to escape over the fence. His holding him amounted to unlawful imprisionment if not kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon.
     
  17. Stomper

    Stomper Oceania Rising White Is The New Brown Silver Supporter

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    BS... a 6' tall fence (or any fence for that matter) is an implied "STAY OUT / NO TRESPASSING" sign unless there is a gate with a welcome sign hanging on it... why else go through the trouble and expense of building a flippin' fence? How do you know the kid wasn't scoping the place out on the fly? How do you know the kids wasn't going to do a "smash 'n grab" on his way through to the other fence, but saw the owner and kept truckin'? Plus it was dark to top it all off.




    OFF TOPIC (a bit)

    Some kids are absolutely going off the deep end these days, but I can tell you the punks in my "barrio" know my house is not the one to mess with. About a month ago I was on my front porch and told (didn't ask politely) a couple "gangsta wannabes" to quit teasing my dog through the front fence... they told me to "go F-myself and that they'd kick my a$$"...

    I came through the front gate and thanked them for threatening me, racked the slide on my 12ga. Mossberg (that I keep behind the door alternated with with 00-buck and 1-oz slugs) and shouldered it at them to make my point... shoulda seen the blood drain from their little "gangsta" faces... yeah I let 'em run off, but I would've punched their tickets if they'd have escalated the situation, and it would have been legal because they threatened me with physical harm and I had witnesses to back me up.

    Yeah, all that over "teasing a dog", right?... THEY instigated it, THEY escalated it, I finished it.


    Nobody EVEN looks cross-eyed at my place after that... I'm positive the word got out, and that's the way I like it. I'm that, "somebody you come accross once in a while you shouldn't have messed with."

    gran-torino-clint-eastwood.jpg

    gran-torino-clint-eastwood.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2011
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  18. darkminstrel

    darkminstrel PDX Well-Known Member

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    I disagree. It was night time, correct? The offender was in a private yard area, correct? As a reasonable person I'd assume that the guy in my back yard was; trying to break in, stolen some property, was a violent offender. Either way he was still on the property and you would have had no idea of his intentions so...SD weapon out, detain the offender, call police. The taunting was over the top and I disagree at how the kid was treated but that action was not illegal. And if it's dark you're damned right I'm going to be aiming my weapon at the unknown person, why give them the ability to get the drop on me?
     
  19. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Unlawful imprisonment
     
  20. coop44

    coop44 Tacoma ,WA Well-Known Member

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    well boo freakin hoo, not if the hole was deep enough. I think I would be cited for an unpermitted burial.