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Old January 16, 2015, 11:06 PM   #1
James K
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"So whatya gonna do....?"

"So whatya gonna do...?"

This has been inspired by a comment on another forum, but let's see the reactions here.

A police officer has many weapons and means of coercion available, including a Taser, Mace, and, of course backup. But an armed citizen has none of those, and many non-lethal weapons are illegal for a citizen to own, let alone carry. Further, a citizen is usually restricted by law to defense of him/herself and family.

So an attacker does something very bad to someone in your presence and simply walks away. You draw your gun and call to him to stop. His reply is a suggestion that you do something biologically impossible and he asks, "So what are you gonna do, shoot me?" and keeps on walking.

The threat to you, if it existed, is ended. You are not authorized to make an arrest or to shoot to stop a fleeing felon. A citizen's arrest would be on shaky ground; even police would hesitate to shoot if the suspected (not convicted) felon is simply walking away.

So, what is the alternative? Shoot and take your chances with a prosecutor and a jury? Let the perp stroll away and lose himself? Note his description for the police? Try to tackle him without shooting? Tell him he is behaving in an anti-social manner and that he will get coal in his stocking?

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Old January 16, 2015, 11:20 PM   #2
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That depends on what happened and if there are any...........witnesses.

An illegal action is strongly implied here. Let's keep the solutions reasonable... and legal.

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Old January 16, 2015, 11:25 PM   #3
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If you feel the need to act to stop an act of violence. Act and attempt to stop the act of violence. If you wait till the act is over and the subject walks away. Your already a day late, be a good witness.
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Old January 16, 2015, 11:41 PM   #4
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Under most state laws, an armed citizen has no authority to stop an act of violence against anyone but him/herself or family. In practice, most of us would try to prevent lethal violence and take a chance, but in any other situation (armed robbery, say) an armed citizen who intervenes would risk arrest. But my assumption was that the crime has already occurred, and the perp is leaving, unmolested.

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Old January 17, 2015, 12:24 AM   #5
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Write down every detail I can glean, assist the victim, give the whole mess to the police, walk away.
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Old January 17, 2015, 05:19 AM   #6
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Be a good witness.
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Old January 17, 2015, 09:02 AM   #7
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Under most state laws, an armed citizen has no authority to stop an act of violence against anyone but him/herself or family.

I don't think that is true.
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Old January 17, 2015, 09:17 AM   #8
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^^ Its not here. Just so long as the person(s) in question you are defending would be justified in force to defending themselves. Its not a question of authority but justified use of force.
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Old January 17, 2015, 09:34 AM   #9
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Strange thread for a mod to start. Seems like a chest thumper to me.

I hope I would not wind up in jail after whatever reaction might happen. At minimum I would assist the vic as needed.
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Old January 17, 2015, 09:35 AM   #10
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Aside from calling the police and trying to make a mental note of the person's appearance, I think I'd see if the victim needs assistance.

They may be hurt: priorities.
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Old January 17, 2015, 09:39 AM   #11
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I would guess it is illegal to own tasers and such,because one would be more
apt to use them,because they are not lethal?
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Old January 17, 2015, 09:55 AM   #12
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Write down every detail I can glean, assist the victim, give the whole mess to the police, walk away.
I tend to agree with this. We arent cops, and if the assault breaks off and they are leaving, you become the aggressor if you pursue and press it. I worked with a guy who spent 7 years in jail for doing just that, and he was the original stabbing victim (the guy what stabbed him, became the second). If anyone had the right, he did.

If you want to elicit a response otherwise, use your phone and take their picture or a video as they walk away, before you call 911. That might change their mind as to you being worth their bother to hang around.
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Old January 17, 2015, 12:38 PM   #13
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Under most state laws, an armed citizen has no authority to stop an act of violence against anyone but him/herself or family
That statement is wrong. You can use deadly force to protect yourself or ANOTHER from death of serious bodily harm. Does not have to be a family member. The wisdom of intervening in a third party event is another story. But you have the legal ability to do so.
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Old January 17, 2015, 12:41 PM   #14
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use of force laws generally have a clause to protect against death, serious bodily injury or a forceful felony of one's self or an innocent third party.
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Old January 17, 2015, 01:29 PM   #15
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I'd pull out my smart phone and take photos/video of the subject.

I would not draw my weapon unless the subject threatens or advances on me. And I would not follow the subject very far or chase him/her.

As odd as it sounds, depending on the situation; I would actually be more likely to act directly if I were not carrying
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Old January 17, 2015, 02:23 PM   #16
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You will need to articulate a bit more before you can expect any rational replies.
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Old January 17, 2015, 03:59 PM   #17
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You can use deadly force to protect yourself or ANOTHER from death of serious bodily harm. Does not have to be a family member. The wisdom of intervening in a third party event is another story. But you have the legal ability to do so.
Iff that person would have been lawful in the use of deadly force for self defense....
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Old January 17, 2015, 09:46 PM   #18
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I think the OP is mistaken on several laws, and everyone should make it a point to learn the statutes in their state rather than generalities on the internet

Deadly force in defense of yourself or others is perfectly legal in NC:

It's not a legal use of deadly force to attempt to stop a fleeing criminal in NC except for LEO's or Corrections Officers

http://www.wsoctv.com/news/news/nort...al-forc/nGwj9/
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Old January 17, 2015, 10:14 PM   #19
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To be honest it might depend on the state of my blood pressure at the time. And if that person that he did the very bad things to, was my friend of relative, wife, etc., then all bets are off.

Otherwise, maybe I will just be a good witness.
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Old January 17, 2015, 11:10 PM   #20
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Under most state laws, an armed citizen has no authority to stop an act of violence against anyone but him/herself or family.
This is contrary to the 30+ states whose laws I've actually checked out. As such, I'll have to conclude that this statement is factually incorrect. In every case I know of, a citizen has a right to stop a violent felony against a third-party, in progress.

Whether that's always a good idea (often it's not) is another question, as is how that act may be viewed through the eyes of those around you. It's quite possible you could do everything "right", but still be perceived as the aggressor, and arrested/tried/imprisoned as such.

The scenario offered is an exercise in what not to do. You simply have no right or legal justification in most cases to threaten the use of deadly force against someone who is walking away.

If they are walking away, they are not in the process of presently doing anything to anyone, regardless of what they may have just done. In many cases, pointing a gun at someone who is walking away means you just committed a form of felony assault. I others it's likely to be - at least - brandishing.
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Old January 18, 2015, 12:14 AM   #21
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Immediately notify 911, take a photo of the perp with a cell phone camera, photograph the car and lic. plate and if possible tail the perp at a safe distance (do not try to stop him) and update the police as to his location or direction of travel.

If the perp turns around to assault you and has a weapon then shoot. (be sure he is holding a weapon at this point.) If you can retreat rather than shoot do so. If he shoots at you then fire away.

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Old January 18, 2015, 08:13 AM   #22
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Quote:
Under most state laws, an armed citizen has no authority to stop an act of violence against anyone but him/herself or family.
You are going to have to do better than that, James. I know of no states where self defense laws do not apply to stopping violence against another person, related or not. In fact, I don't know of any that specify that you may only protect yourself and your family. If you do know some state(s) where the law is different, please post the specific laws and state.
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Old January 18, 2015, 10:10 AM   #23
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Generally, you can shoot, use deadly force to stop violence but not to keep someone from leaving after the crime has been committed, unless you are a cop. If you choose to shoot to stop someone from leaving, it's probably going to cause you a lot of trouble and you will be the bad guy, probably.

However, I think it would depend somewhat on the crime that had just been committed by the fleeing, or otherwise departing perpetrator. If you had some knowledge of intent of the perpetrator, seeing that he is danger to others, example; Mall Shooting, where the perpetrator had shot people and was now walking away from you, but still armed, I would shoot him in the back to keep him from shooting someone else around the corner. I think that could be defended, and I doubt one would be prosecuted. But as in all life, nothing is certain.
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Old January 18, 2015, 10:50 AM   #24
Pond, James Pond
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I think that could be defended, and I doubt one would be prosecuted. But as in all life, nothing is certain.
My guess is that wold be tricky unless you could prove imminent intent. Otherwise, to all intents and purposes you'd have fired one someone for open-carry and leaving the scene of a crime.
I think the whole premise in the OP is a bit dodgy: a bit "vigilante justice".
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Last edited by Pond, James Pond; January 18, 2015 at 10:50 AM. Reason: Being concise
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Old January 18, 2015, 11:29 AM   #25
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When I got my carry license I did not join and was not appointed to the police department. The weapon is for Self Defense. Every day in the news in my area there are reports of acts which cause me to play out in my mind what I might do or be forced to do if I was witness to or caught in the middle of. While it's very self congratulatory to imagine yourself saving the day for somebody with your pistol in the final analysis it seems the best course is always to remove yourself from the situation if possible or defend Yourself if necessary.
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