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Old July 1, 2009, 12:30 AM   #76
csmsss
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I have a couple of thoughts.

First, there is a profound dearth of reliable information on this case, so it's way too early to make any determination as to whether the shooter's actions were justified, somewhat justified, or entirely unjustified.

Second, I don't agree with those who assert that one should *never* pursue a fleeing bad guy. There may be no immediate danger to you, but could be extreme danger to others in the vicinity. I liken this to, for example, an active shooter in a mall. The shooter runs past you, therefore there is no immediate danger to you, but there is extreme danger to everyone else in the shooter's path. Is the best course of action really to stay your ground and do absolutely nothing? My opinion is no.

Hopefully we'll learn more about these events, the shooter's actions and the entirety of the circumstances preceding the shooting. Until then, I'm going to reserve judgement about the shooter's culpability, if there be any.
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Old July 1, 2009, 12:33 AM   #77
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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.
So the question I would have is... when "Tom and Huck" began their pursuit:

a) Was it a crime to do so?
b) Did the act forfeit their right of self defense?

I will add that I think it was monumentally stupid to chase after the guy but... do their positions as citizen vs. a police officer materially affect a decision to act with deadly force?

Even if it was a crime to pursue the BG... did "Tom and Huck" deserve to die because a BG decided to be their judge and jury?

All this assumes the BG did indeed escalate by drawing his gun first. If that isn't the case then this is, no doubt in my mind, vigilantism.

btw... I'm fairly sure a police officer is not "legally obligated" to pursue the subject. I'm pretty sure that police only have a general duty to protect with no guarantee to do so in any specific situation.
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Old July 1, 2009, 12:36 AM   #78
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This is how i see it, strictly just my opinion. This scenario is pretty simple the BG fled, they wanted revenge and justice because they knew the guy.
They may have wanted revenge because they knew the guy, but I'm glad you also mentioned they wanted justice.

The reason it isn't so simple is because chasing and apprehending a fleeing felon isn't necessarily illegal. If the chasing of the felon was legal, though tactically unsound, maybe the felon should assume responsibility for pulling a gun and forcing the GOOD guys to defend THEMSELVES.

Hey, they were boneheads for chasing the guy, but sometimes, in the face of violent criminal activity, the good folks don't always do the right thing in the ensuing SNAFU that tends to follow. Doesn't mean they belong in prison. Looks like the Police might agree.
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Old July 1, 2009, 12:36 AM   #79
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lol the criminal that runs off turns into a "victim" I can't stop laughing about this.
The argument can and will be made that because they knew him, they felt he was still a danger to them because he knew exactly where they were staying so he could come back another time
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Old July 1, 2009, 06:59 AM   #80
skydiver3346
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Again my Composer friend:

(QUOTE): "If you blantantly chase a bad guy down, it's vigilantism"...

To make that broad statement for everyone is just irresponsible.
It is a quick reaction to what just happened, (someone just broke down your front door).
That may be your personal belief (and maybe others as well) but did you ever consider the possibility of the bad guy coming back again and finishing what he started? Could be worse for the home owner next visit. One thing is for sure, "He eliminated the repeat offender"!
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Old July 1, 2009, 07:14 AM   #81
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If you blatantly chase a BG down its vigilanstism.
Right, but if you do it covertly, then it is just downright legal!
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Old July 1, 2009, 08:06 AM   #82
zonamo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjoy64

So the question I would have is... when "Tom and Huck" began their pursuit:

a) Was it a crime to do so?
b) Did the act forfeit their right of self defense?
That probably depends on where you live. In Arizona, it is legal for a private person to make an arrest. Since it is legal to arrest the criminal, I believe you would not forfeit the right to defend yourself if the criminal you are legally arresting threatens you since Arizona is also a stand your ground state.

ARS 13-3884. Arrest by private person

A private person may make an arrest:
1. When the person to be arrested has in his presence committed a misdemeanor amounting to a breach of the peace, or a felony.
2. When a felony has been in fact committed and he has reasonable ground to believe that the person to be arrested has committed it.


Tactically, I don't want to be the test case for something like this. But for those arguing morality, which has greater moral force-letting a known violent criminal go or stopping them before they victimize someone else?
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Old July 1, 2009, 08:34 AM   #83
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Before we get too involved in these technicalities of the law on whether or not it was a felony vs. misdomeaner and citizen's arrest deal we really need to check back in on the story. If someone has some more information that what was first reported it would help.

Fact is the fellow broke into the house. The report said he kicked the door in but in the long run that is not extremely important. It is assumed that when he broke in he found Bubba and Earl sitting on the couch watching reruns of Bill Dance. So he took off running. Bubba and Earl recognized him and gave chase.

This is where it gets interesting. They found him several blocks away. When we say they gave chase how long/far do you chase a BG that just broke in. Do you lock up before you go SEVERAL blocks after the BG, who incidently you know as a regular at the local Dew Drop Inn. Or do you just run off after him so his buddy can have free access to everything in your house while you are playing cop?

All that is still not important. Finally after probably about 30 minutes of chasing (I know it doesn't say how long but it also doesn't say a lot of other things) the BG you finally meet up with him. You ask him who is going to pay for that door and in not a nice way. He tells you to go do something that is impossible. You threaten to whup his rear end and he doubts you have the power to do it. You offer him a free sex change operation and start walking toward him. He pulls out his gun in fear that you are able to perform the operation that you offered to do. Your good buddy then takes matters into his hands and ends the argument without a fight.

Here is where it really gets strange.

FACT - You don't notify the police about the break-in or shooting. You leave the SOB beside the road. A good citizen comes by, finds the body, calls the police and after some investigation they find out that your buddy did the shooting.

Summary - BG (that you recognize) breaks your front door down, you chase him down, gun fight breaks out and you shoot the BG, you go home so you can see the last part of Bill Dance's tip of the week and don't call the police. Then everyone starts arguing about the technicalities of the law on citizen's arrest!

I know I am missing something here but just don't know what?
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Old July 1, 2009, 09:08 AM   #84
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When the BG pulled a gun, it was a whole new deal

If they had of chased him down and killed him, they would have been in big poo.

But when the guy turns and pulls a gun, it's open season on bad guys.

Clearly a case of self-defense. The bad guy had the option of giving up and living a bit longer, but chose a different path to the afterlife.
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Old July 1, 2009, 09:11 AM   #85
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Question?

If burglary is not a felony as some of you say here in your posts, then what the heck is it called then, (when this dirt bag kicks down your door while you are in your home at the time)? A misdemeanor? A misdeed?

I believe that you would get at least a year in prision for committing this crime and that is usually considered a felony in most cases.
The only reason this guy didn't continue into the home was the victim was in the room and his brother with him.
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Old July 1, 2009, 09:27 AM   #86
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PT111 gave voice to the same thing that bothered me: Why would you not call 911 after what you believed to be a justifiable SD shooting? And leave the scene so that a passerby finds a dead body and reports it? That really doesn't smell right. There is no mention of a weapon, either: Article to brief? Wasn't there? Lifted before LE arrived? Another reason to call promptly, it would seem to me.

There have been some reasonable SD scenarios presented here, such as following the perpetrator to report his position to the police and then being forced to fire when he confronts, that would seem to be belied by these significant details.
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Old July 1, 2009, 09:53 AM   #87
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If the homeowners truly "tracked the man down" as is stated in the story then it is probably straight up murder. THEY became the aggressor.

Why does it matter if it's 5 minutes later or the next day? If they saw this guy on the street the next day and approached him with a gun then he would have every right to defend himself. So where do you draw the line? 2 minutes later? 20 minutes? 3 hours? Why? This man started a conflict and then made it clear that he was withdrawing from the conflict. In most any area, withdrawing from a conflict creates a necessary end for the other parties use of force. If the other party continues the use of force, the withdrawing party almost certainly has the right to defend themselves. He withdrew, they attacked, he defended, they killed him.


From all appearances, this is a case where the defender lost the fight, IMHO.
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Old July 1, 2009, 09:55 AM   #88
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There was the TX case that was well-known of a guy who followed someone who broke into his car (Austin, IIRC). Then he shot the guy - claimed the thief threatened him. But he was charged and went to trial. The claim of self-defense was quite ambiguous.

The thing that saved the guy's bacon was that the 911 operator told him to follow the thief. Great advice.

As far as if you follow the guy and he pulls a gun, it is SD - not a lawyer but that's iffy. If you are not in the right when you follow and the BG says he felt he was threatened by you - then you can be the BG and shot. If you said - stop or I'll shoot - then you are in the wrong, for example.

If you said you shot him to prevent a later crime - that would be a bad idea.
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Old July 1, 2009, 09:56 AM   #89
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Peetza, At least in florida, the guy commited a heinous violent felony... Home Invasion, he can't stop what is already done. Crime was commited, citizen in florida (I know this ain't a florida case) can use any force required up to and including lethal force to stop and hold the criminal for LEO's.
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Old July 1, 2009, 09:58 AM   #90
PT111
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If you said you shot him to prevent a later crime - that would be a bad idea.
According to the jury you get. Seems that there are a few on here that consider that justifiable homocide.
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Old July 1, 2009, 10:00 AM   #91
Brian Pfleuger
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Home Invasion, he can't stop what is already done. Crime was commited, citizen in florida (I know this ain't a florida case) can use any force required up to and including lethal force to stop and hole the criminal for LEO's.
For how long and where? Certainly you couldn't find the guy the next day and shoot him claiming that he invaded your home. What about 5 hours later? 3? 15 minutes? There's no logical reason why any particular time would be the standard. If an hour later is no good then why is 10 minutes OK? Imminent and immediate threat is the answer. When the guy invades your home he is an imminent and/or immediate threat. If you track him down on the street, even 5 minutes later, YOU are the imminent and/or immediate threat.

If you saw a guy who invaded your home 3 days ago and approached him with a gun, would YOU not be the aggressor? It's no different if it's 10 minutes later.
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Last edited by Brian Pfleuger; July 1, 2009 at 10:07 AM.
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Old July 1, 2009, 10:03 AM   #92
hogdogs
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If I reasonably feel an individual commited a violent felony, I can detain him/her at anytime following the act so long as he hasn't already been arrested and charged officially by the LEO... The wording in the law doesn't have a time restraint nor an expiration date on it.
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Old July 1, 2009, 10:10 AM   #93
A_McDougal
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The right to justice is a universal right, in the constitution (under the penumbras and emanations section).

Since the police aren't obligated to protect me or get my property back after I'm robbed, why does society think that justice should only be available when the police and courts choose to dispense it?
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Old July 1, 2009, 10:13 AM   #94
Brian Pfleuger
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The wording in the law doesn't have a time restraint nor an expiration date on it.
No, but it still has the "reasonable man" clause attached to it. Something like "if the person reasonably believes it to be necessary to affect the arrest or prevent the escape."

Such as NY Penal Code 35.30

4. A private person acting on his or her own account may use physical
force, other than deadly physical force, upon another person when and to
the extent that he or she reasonably believes such to be necessary to
effect an arrest
or to prevent the escape from custody of a person whom
he or she reasonably believes to have committed an offense and who in
fact has committed such offense; and may use deadly physical force for
such purpose when he or she reasonably believes such to be necessary to:

(a) Defend himself, herself or a third person from what he or she
reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of deadly physical
force; or
(b) Effect the arrest of a person who has committed murder,
manslaughter in the first degree, robbery, forcible rape or forcible
criminal sexual act and who is in immediate flight therefrom.

Note the "immediate flight therefrom"

What is the wording of the law in FL.
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Old July 1, 2009, 10:16 AM   #95
hogdogs
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YEP! And if he hasn't already been arrested and charged, this reasonable man will see to it that he goes no further as a freebird. His options are 2... comply or face the consequences of trying to battle me for freedom.
Bugger that second option!
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Old July 1, 2009, 10:24 AM   #96
Ricky B
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If the homeowners truly "tracked the man down" as is stated in the story then it is probably straight up murder. THEY became the aggressor.
Yes, if they were looking to beat him. The term "aggressor" implies a self-defense analysis, and once the BG flees, self-defense is no longer available.

No, if they were looking to find and hold him for the cops. If they were looking to find and hold him for the cops, they were looking to effect a citizen's arrest even if they didn't think of it that way. Then self-defense is irrelevant for the pursuit, and the pursuit is eminently legal. If the felon uses deadly force to resist arrest (even by a citizen), the felon is the aggressor, and the citizen is entitled to a claim of self-defense.

A felon does not have a right to resist arrest. Believe it or not, there have been robbers who have shot police and claimed self-defense because the police were shooting at them. The courts have said self-defense is not available as a defense in that situation.
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Old July 1, 2009, 10:24 AM   #97
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citizen . . . can use any force required up to and including lethal force to stop and hold the criminal for LEO's.
But wouldn't that citizen call LEO's? Leaving a dead body beside the road for someone else to find is not a way to make a citizen's arrest, even if one were so inclined.

We have very little information right now, but I won't be surprised if this goes badly for the shooter and WildAlaska is dancing in hideously decorated spandex again.
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Old July 1, 2009, 10:30 AM   #98
PT111
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This is one of the comments from the article. Strickly rumor but does shed some llight on it if true.

Quote:
Info from a Neighbor.... The idiot that died was at Fast Eddies on Grissom being a drunken fool starting crap and was thrown out. His "friend" who lives near by known to have guns in the house.... he went over, kicked down the door, grabed a gun and fled to return to the bar. Owner and brother ran after him, caught up to him to get the gun back and the Owners brother shot him and ran off. That's the word in the neighborhood. That's all I know.
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Old July 1, 2009, 10:31 AM   #99
hogdogs
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Not everyone has a cell phone?
If I had one on me I am not sure I would want to incur the 911 use fee of $1.99 or waste minutes calling the regular number... Heck I done wasted the money of a shell on the guy...
I am not sure if these guys had returned home to a phone or not...
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Old July 1, 2009, 10:32 AM   #100
Ricky B
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The argument can and will be made that because they knew him, they felt he was still a danger to them because he knew exactly where they were staying so he could come back another time
Posters say things like this quite frequently in this forum, and they should understand that it is a fantasy defense ungrounded in reality. Anyone who makes that argument in his own defense should simply plead guilty and save himself some time and money. That argument has zero chance of winning. The law is very clear that fear of future harm does not allow a claim of self-defense.

See this thread that I started on California law on self-defense. It's laid out there in black and white.

http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/...d.php?t=364416
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