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Old June 30, 2009, 10:17 PM   #51
MLeake
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Knowing the guy doesn't mean you know where he will be.

Case in point: years ago, some friends of mine were burglarized by the stepbrother of one of the victims. They had no idea where he was, because he'd already been kicked out of the house for previously stealing jewelry from his mother.

If they had wanted to be able to give his location to the police, they'd have had to follow, and the guy was related to a victim...

Just saying, people are making a lot of assumptions, before facts are in evidence.
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Old June 30, 2009, 10:20 PM   #52
OuTcAsT
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Seems to be more and more common that the police feel the incident could easily be self defense, but members of a forum condemn the citizen.

It appears that some are rather phobic in that respect.

Once again someone has condemned the intended VICTIMS and claimed they put themselves in the situation by FORCING the criminal to defend himself after committing an armed invasion of their home.

See that word I highlighted ? AFTER ?


Once the threat is over, and the BG is gone, there is no threat.

If he is in your house, and threatening you, or your family, he is a threat, and whatever force is necessary to protect yourself within your State laws is certainly warranted. If he flees the scene, the threat is over, if you chase him down you are the aggressor, and he can defend himself same as you. A firearm is not a license to exact revenge.

You are not empowered to rid the world of scum, only to protect your life from an immediate threat.

This is not rocket science, but it sure is confusing to some.
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Old June 30, 2009, 10:26 PM   #53
MLeake
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Here is where we disagree

Not all pursuits are revenge. Not all pursuits make one an aggressor. However, laws governing citizen's arrest vary widely from state to state.

If one is allowed to affect a citizen's arrest in their state in a given scenario, then pursuit in furtherance of that arrest is not escalation in a criminal sense. It does not make the pursuer an aggressor. However, the level of force allowed for citizen's arrest is more likely to be "reasonable" than "deadly."

Again, know your state's laws.

Pursuit for purpose of citizen's arrest is not the same thing as pursuit for purpose of revenge.

The issues in this case are: what was the intent of the pursuit? did the decedent produce a weapon? did the brothers reasonably fear for their safety (assuming their pursuit were not for criminal purpose, they didn't waive their right to SD)?
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Old June 30, 2009, 10:37 PM   #54
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Lets give you chasers a dose of tactical reality here...by doing so you can sign your own death warrant and your killer can get away scot free...think about that when you take off after your stereo

WildorvisitthebuildingwhenthealarmgoesoffAlaska TM
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Old June 30, 2009, 10:48 PM   #55
OuTcAsT
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Not all pursuits are revenge. Not all pursuits make one an aggressor
There are some legal eccentricities that make this a true statement...to a point, however, I am talking "Common Sense" for the purpose of discussion. No offense intended, but;

It is common sense to imply that, once the BG has left your vicinity, he is no longer an immediate threat to you, or your household. This is where your duty (normally) lies. You are usually justified in protecting yourself from an immediate threat. <period>

If you decide to pursue, you have (generally) opened a whole new can of worms. You will have to prove your intent was benign rather than malevolent. This is why pursuit is not usually considered "reasonable" nor tactically sound for the general public. The premise is a simple one; protect yourself from the immediate threat, anything more can be a legal pitfall.
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Old June 30, 2009, 10:54 PM   #56
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Easy with the labels, there, WA

Arguing that something is not illegal is not the same as arguing that it is tactically sound. Then again, arguing that something isn't tactically sound isn't always the same as arguing it should never be done. Circumstances have too many variables.

Having looked at the codes, Texas law does allow citizen's arrest for felonies committed in view of a citizen. Effecting a citizen's arrest does not provide any legal immunity for injuries to third parties (not a factor in the case under discussion), which should be enough to make folks think twice about whether pursuit is a good idea.

Legally, the brothers were within their rights to pursue, based on having observed the burglary of their premises by the decedent. This did not make them liable for the decedent's subsequent escalation, if that is what happened...

Not knowing what happened, I won't offer any further defense than that.

Now, would I recommend pursuit? Not really. Odds of things getting anywhere from violent to deadly are higher than I'd prefer. Potential risk to others needs to be considered. Coming home to loved ones is also a plus, in my book.

But would I always recommend against pursuit? What if one witnessed a kidnapping? An ongoing attack on a child? Examples could get cumbersome, but the idea is that there are times when the risks are definitely justified. Of course, while conducting such pursuits, one should be in communications with the police. (Don't remember where I read it, but somebody once said that if you carry a gun, you had better also carry a cell phone, and that makes good sense to me).

Generally, while I am not too keen on pursuits, I find it highly inappropriate to equate a pursuer of a person who has been observed firsthand committing a felony (pursuer is attempting to effect citizen's arrest) with a vigilante. In my book, at least, vigilantes are not those who attempt citizen's arrests, but those who deliberately set out to harm people whom they think deserve it because they are bad. I personally think it's very dangerous when people are quick to sling the V word any time a citizen gets involved in a crime in progress.

Funny how so many things go back to motive...
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Old June 30, 2009, 11:01 PM   #57
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and your killer can get away scot free

So now you're bashing scotsmen, WA?

Sorry, just kidding.

On a more serious note, though, the BG has very likely lost his legal right to SD by initiating the crime that resulted in the pursuit. If your point is that a pursuit, in and of itself, gives him license to act against the pursuer, that is very likely not the case.

On the other hand, you could simply mean that now the only witness is dead, killed in the pursuit, and so the police will need good forensics or a lucky break. In which case, you are very likely right.

Years ago, when I had to stand occasional sentry duty, it was reinforced time and again that if one sees a bad guy on the perimeter, first and foremost CALL IT IN before attempting to engage. Bad for a sentry to get killed or incapacitated, without having warned his comrades of the danger.

Goes back to my point about carrying a cell phone. Call to 911 should be made immediately, whether pursuit is chosen or not.
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Old June 30, 2009, 11:10 PM   #58
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^ very good ponts. I seen this news story: the guy saw someone breaking into his neighbors house and went outside and shot them when they tried to run away(they briefly crossed onto his property) but he was on the phone with 911 decribing the situation, long before engaging. So yeah if they had called 911 during the persuit it would eliminate much of the speculation.
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Old June 30, 2009, 11:10 PM   #59
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the BG has very likely lost his legal right to SD by initiating the crime that resulted in the pursuit.
Point of fact my friend, the BG surrenders no rights until he is arrested, and if he waives the "Miranda" rights.

Until he is found guilty, he has all the "rights" we all have in common.
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Old June 30, 2009, 11:15 PM   #60
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Technically true...

... in a discussion of constitutional law sense.

However, from a prosecutor's perspective*, the initial commission of the felony that resulted in the pursuit, if proven, subsequently means the convicted felon cannot claim self defense for any violent act carried out as a direct result of the felony.

So, if the pursuer were killed, there were no witnesses to the initial crime, a case couldn't be made, etc then the BG might get off scot free, no offense to our Gaelic friends.

If there were other witnesses, forensic evidence, etc, then the odds are the BG is in a world of legal hurt.

* I am NOT a prosecutor, just stating an opinion based on reading charging documents or decisions not to charge from previous incidents.
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Old June 30, 2009, 11:18 PM   #61
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The other factor...

... is that if the prosecutor believes the original felony did occur, then he is likely to interpret that action as having robbed the decedent of the right to SD against the resulting pursuit.

So, while the BG may not have lost his rights yet, the end result could well be that the prosecutor opts to bring no charges against the decedent's killer(s), due to an assumption that the BG would eventually have been found to have had no right to use violence against his pursuers.

We'll see what happens.

For all I know, the brothers chased the guy with the intent of making an example of him, thinking they could. But, for all I know, they could have had every intention of either effecting arrest, or providing the police with info. Just don't know.
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Old June 30, 2009, 11:19 PM   #62
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Outcast: Sure, your nads want to say "good Job" But your brain already knows better.
Haha, yeah, right now the boys are sayin "rahrah yaay clean the gene pool good shoot rah" but I'm thinkin, "uhh... huh?"

Personally I don't think they should be charged with anything but I do think they went a little further than they should have, definitely further than I would have. I'm very leery of the complications of being involved in a self defense shoot outside my home... not too sure how that's gonna pan out when I get my CHL but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.
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Old June 30, 2009, 11:21 PM   #63
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Bad guy attempts home invasion. Homeowners halt home invasion and pursue Bad guy. Bad guy pulls gun on homeowners. Homeowners gun down Bad guy. One less Bad guy around to attempt more home invasions. Sounds good to me!
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Old June 30, 2009, 11:22 PM   #64
OuTcAsT
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Just don't know.
Agreed, you make a fine argument though...

Let's wait for more evidence, then we can debate on even ground.
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Old June 30, 2009, 11:26 PM   #65
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One less Bad guy around to attempt more home invasions. Sounds good to me!
Seriously, Sportdog, read the thread a bit.... There are good arguments that see both sides.
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Old June 30, 2009, 11:29 PM   #66
Tucker 1371
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One less Bad guy around to attempt more home invasions. Sounds good to me
Mathematically it sounds great... but I've always hated math and we're not dealing with numbers here, we are dealing with lives... living, breathing, human beings. Justice is about balancing punishment against the crime. The only way this was a justifiable and clean shoot in my mind is if the pursuers intent was something less violent than what actually occured (something along the lines of giving the guy a good lecture and maybe a slap upside the head). Unfortunately there is now way to discern the purseuers' original intent other than taking their word for it.
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Old June 30, 2009, 11:33 PM   #67
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So if this scenario actually ended with a police officer seeing the fleeing suspect, chasing the suspect down, suspect drawing gun, and officer fatally shooting the suspect is it a bad shoot?
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Old June 30, 2009, 11:34 PM   #68
OuTcAsT
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Haha, yeah, right now the boys are sayin "rahrah yaay clean the gene pool good shoot rah" but I'm thinkin, "uhh... huh?"

Personally I don't think they should be charged with anything but I do think they went a little further than they should have, definitely further than I would have.
^^ The force is strong with this one^^


Look inside yourself and know what is true, do not succumb to the dark side...

Seriously , your gut is leading you to the truth.
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Old June 30, 2009, 11:39 PM   #69
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So if this scenario actually ended with a police officer seeing the fleeing suspect, chasing the suspect down, suspect drawing gun, and officer fatally shooting the suspect is it a bad shoot?
You are comparing the actions of a sworn officer, as compared to a homeowner. the comparison is not equal.(apples to oranges)

A police officer follows one set of laws, a homeowner another.(though I am sure some will argue this point)
A gun does not give you the same powers or protections as a badge.
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Old June 30, 2009, 11:46 PM   #70
Ricky B
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First, burglary is NOT a felony, and second, you cannot make a "citizens arrest" for a crime that is NOT a felony, sorry. It quit being a crime when the guy ran. Simple B&E .
First, burglary was a felony at common law, and I would be very much surprised if breaking and entering an occupied dwelling (night or day) was not a felony in any state. It certainly is in CA. But maybe TX has a more liberal attitude toward the underprivileged criminals than we have here in CA. "Simple B&E" is normally a felony, and one considered inherently dangerous to human life.

Second, you can make a "citizens arrest" for a crime that is not a felony, at least here in CA.

CA Penal Code §837 provides:

A private person may arrest another:

1. For a public offense committed or attempted in his presence.

2. When the person arrested has committed a felony, although not
in his presence.

3. When a felony has been in fact committed, and he has reasonable
cause for believing the person arrested to have committed it.

http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/wa...ction=retrieve

To arrest for a non-felony offense, the offense must be committed or attempted in the citizen's presence. So Outast's statement would have been correct if he had said "you cannot make a "citizens arrest" for a crime that is NOT a felony UNLESS it was committed or attempted in your presence."
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Old June 30, 2009, 11:51 PM   #71
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it appeared that the guy kicked in the door, and the chase began, whether the decedent entered the residence will be he deciding factor I reckon.
If the BG kicked in the door and a portion of his foot went past the threshold, that would probably suffice to constitute an "entry" for the purpose of burglary.

Even if there were no entry, there was an attempt, and the statute I quoted allows a citizen's arrest for an attempted offense.
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Old June 30, 2009, 11:56 PM   #72
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You are comparing the actions of a sworn officer, as compared to a homeowner. the comparison is not equal.(apples to oranges)

A police officer follows one set of laws, a homeowner another.(though I am sure some will argue this point)
A gun does not give you the same powers or protections as a badge.
So it would be your contention that the police officer had more rights (by law) to kill the fleeing suspect?
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Old July 1, 2009, 12:01 AM   #73
Ricky B
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I think it's important to distinguish between self-defense. Once the BG fled, there was no issue of self-defense.

The occupants were legally privileged to pursue the BG. At least in CA, and again, I can't imagine TX is more restrictive.

CA Penal Code §839 provides:

Any person making an arrest may orally summon as many persons as he deems necessary to aid him therein.

CA Penal Code §844 provides:

To make an arrest, a private person, if the offense is a felony, and in all cases a peace officer, may break open the door or window of the house in which the person to be arrested is, or in which they have reasonable grounds for believing the person to be, after having demanded admittance and explained the purpose for which admittance is desired.

A vigilante is a person who violates the law to exact what they believe to be justice from criminals. Pursuing someone who attempted to enter your home to turn him over to the cops is not vigilantism. And anyone who says it is simply doesn't know what the word "vigilante" means.

Once the BG used deadly force by exhibiting a gun, the pursuers were legally privileged to use deadly force (not to make an arrest but in self-defense).

If you pursue a purse snatcher who snatched some old lady's purse, the thief is not the "victim" and you are not an "aggressor" against who he is entitled to use force. The BG here had no right to self-defense any more than he would if he were being chased by a cop.
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Old July 1, 2009, 12:13 AM   #74
Tucker 1371
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So if this scenario actually ended with a police officer seeing the fleeing suspect, chasing the suspect down, suspect drawing gun, and officer fatally shooting the suspect is it a bad shoot?
No, but the police officer is sworn to uphold (enforce) the law. That means he is not only legally justified in following the subject but also legally obligated to do so. An officer in the process of upholding the law being forced to take a life is worlds different from Tom and Huck pursuing Joe Thug to have words with him and then because of that finding themselves in a situation where they had to defend themselves.

I'm not saying they shouldn't have defended themselves. Once put in that situation it is the only acceptable course of action. I'm questioning the legality, morality, and reasoning regarding their pursuit of Joe Thug in the first place.

Of course they knew the guy, maybe not on favorable terms but they knew him. Common sense would say that you would be able to go talk to the guy and give him a piece of your mind (common sense might also say you wouldn't need a gun to do that but then again the smart money says to always be prepared).

One little piece of info I think we need is who had their weapon drawn first? If the two shooters had their's drawn first it may be self defense but in the dead guy's favor (not that it's going to do him much good).
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Last edited by Tucker 1371; July 1, 2009 at 12:19 AM.
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Old July 1, 2009, 12:16 AM   #75
Ricky B
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A point of clarification.

I have been assuming for the purpose of the discussion that the occupants chased the BG to turn him over to the cops. If they were chasing him to beat him and teach him a lesson, that would be vigilantism.
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