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Detroit investigators raid home of fire chaser who held up arsonist: Stop playing cop

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posted on Oct, 30 2017 @ 10:36 AM
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After two years of chasing fires and arsonists, a St. Clair Shores man is in the hot seat himself for allegedly crossing the line at a fire scene: detaining a woman in Detroit because she had set a house ablaze.

Detroit arson investigators believe the vigilante held the woman at the scene at gunpoint. Investigators raided his house Tuesday morning, seizing his car and computer as part of a broader probe. But the man -- amateur fire photographer Alex Haggart -- told the Free Press that he had no real weapon, only a paintball gun in his car, and that he never used it.


Detroit investigators raid home of fire chaser who held up arsonist: Stop playing cop

So, the Detroit Police Department is investigating this guy because he went all vigilante on this woman after he saw her commit the arson.

However, according to him, that is all he did. He says that he detained her by using his car, and he had to do this not once, but twice. In the meantime he made multiple calls to the local 911 number, only to not get an answer.

As he and a friend sat in his car, they recorded the incident on video. He is overheard talking about a reward, and intimating that he is a hero for detaining this woman.

The article goes on to say:

The investigation into Haggart's actions comes as the Detroit Fire Department battles a rash of arsons that have hit the 48205 ZIP code in recent months.
Chief of Fire Investigations Pat McNulty said the area has seen an uptick in arsons, though he didn't have exact numbers. He noted that the woman Haggart detained was the arsonist but that his behavior may have gone too far.


So, to summarize, this guy solved a serial-arsonist case that had been going on for several months, and detained the perpetrator while the 911 operator and local police were out sipping their coffees and eating donuts. And, now the police are mad at him because he did their jobs better than they did.

Don't citizens still have the right, and maybe the responsibility, to make citizen arrests when they see crimes this severe committed?

What do you all think?

-dex




posted on Oct, 30 2017 @ 10:45 AM
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They can definitely still do citizen's arrests.....

However, we are dealing with one of the more corrupt police departments in the nation.... The same department that illegally ticketed and towed cars that were legally parked some years back, the same department that has has dozens, if not hundreds, indicted and prosecuted for being in gangs, selling drugs, running prostitution rings, etc.

They see an easy way to make money, and as you stated, someone else doing their job better than they are.

Or, I could be wrong, and they could be viewing it as the officer in the new "Baywatch" movie sees it:

"We were engaged in a high speed pursuit of the suspect-----"

"No, you weren't! You're not cops! When you do it, it's just a bunch of dudes chasing another bunch of dudes!"



posted on Oct, 30 2017 @ 10:50 AM
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The law is the law. You don't get the right to violate the law just so you can issue a citizen's arrest. This is open and shut. Despite what superhero comics might suggest vigilantism is HIGHLY frowned upon by law enforcement.



posted on Oct, 30 2017 @ 10:52 AM
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Out of curiosity, what should the guy have done to make it a legit citizen arrest?



posted on Oct, 30 2017 @ 10:58 AM
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a reply to: dothedew

Interesting. I was under the impression that Detroit's police department was somewhat corrupt. I didn't know they were quite that corrupt though.

-dex



posted on Oct, 30 2017 @ 10:58 AM
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a reply to: Autorico

Citizen's Arrest

United States

In the United States a private person may arrest another, without a warrant, for a crime occurring in their presence. For which crimes this is permitted may vary state by state, depending on local law.
Common law

Most states have codified the common law rule that a warrantless arrest may be made by a private person for a felony, misdemeanor or "breach of peace".[56] A breach of peace covers a multitude of violations in which the Supreme Court has even included a misdemeanor seatbelt violation punishable only by a fine. The term historically included theft, "nightwalking", prostitution and playing card and dice games.[57]
State statutes

California Penal Code section 837 is a good example of this codification:

837. A private person may arrest another:

For a public offense committed or attempted in his/her presence.
When the person arrested has committed a felony, although not in his presence.
When a felony has been in fact committed, and he or she has reasonable cause for believing the person arrested to have committed it.

"Public offense" is read similarly as breach of peace in this case and includes felonies, misdemeanors and infractions.[58][59] Note that there is generally no provision for an investigative detention by a private person under the law. With certain exceptions (see below) an arrest must be made. "Holding them until the police get there", is simply a form of arrest. The officer is accepting the arrest and processing the prisoner on behalf of the private person.[60]

In the case of felonies, a private person may make an arrest for a felony occurring outside their presence but the rule is that a felony must have, in fact, been committed. For example, imagine a suspect has been seen on surveillance video vandalizing a building to the extent that the arrestor believes it rises to a felony due to the damage. If they find the suspect and make the arrest but it later turns out that it was misdemeanor damage, the arrestor is liable for false arrest because a felony had not, in fact, been committed.

Because most states have codified their arrest laws, there are many variations. For example, in Pennsylvania, the courts have been clear that a citizen cannot make an arrest for a "summary offense".[61] In North Carolina, there is no de jure "citizens' arrest". Although it is essentially the same, North Carolina law refers to it as a "detention".[62]

Other states seem to allow only arrests in cases of felonies but court decisions have ruled more broadly. For example in Virginia, the statute appears to only permit warrantless arrests by officers listed in the Code.[63] However Virginia courts have upheld warrantless arrests by citizens for misdemeanors.[64]
Use of force

In general, a private person is justified in using non-deadly force upon another if they reasonably believe that: (1) such other person is committing a felony, or a misdemeanor amounting to a breach of the peace; and (2) the force used is necessary to prevent further commission of the offense and to apprehend the offender. The force must be reasonable under the circumstances to restrain the individual arrested. This includes the nature of the offense and the amount of force required to overcome resistance.[65][66]
Shopkeeper's (merchant's) privilege

In some states of the United States, the courts recognize a common law, shopkeeper's privilege, under which a shopkeeper is allowed to detain a suspected shoplifter on store property for a reasonable period of time, so long as the shopkeeper has cause to believe that the person detained in fact committed, or attempted to commit, theft of store property. The purpose of this detention is to recover the property and make an arrest if the merchant desires.[67]
Differing liability from police

Private persons are occasionally granted immunity from civil or criminal liability, like the police are, when arresting others.[68] While the powers to arrest are similar, police are entitled to mistake of fact in most cases, while citizens can be held to a stricter liability depending on the individual state. Police can also detain anyone upon reasonable suspicion.[69]

Basically if this guy hadn't held this woman up with a firearm he would have been in the clear. I'm not sure why people are trying to blame this situation on corruption though.
edit on 30-10-2017 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 30 2017 @ 10:59 AM
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originally posted by: Krazysh0t
The law is the law. You don't get the right to violate the law just so you can issue a citizen's arrest. This is open and shut. Despite what superhero comics might suggest vigilantism is HIGHLY frowned upon by law enforcement.


Okay. Two questions then:
1. What laws did he violate?
2. What should he have done?

-dex



posted on Oct, 30 2017 @ 11:01 AM
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originally posted by: Krazysh0t
The law is the law. You don't get the right to violate the law just so you can issue a citizen's arrest. This is open and shut. Despite what superhero comics might suggest vigilantism is HIGHLY frowned upon by law enforcement.


You are using law violation very loosely here.

Police are only there to enforce the law, not be the judge and jury.
Why can bounty hunters carry and use non-lethal weapons and use them in a threatening manner? But regular citizens who witness a crime and solve a crime mystery use a paint ball gun to stop it from further happening?

Detroit is a corrupt area. Even the cops, and when law enforcement doesn't like what regular people are doing without them involved they get jealous. you are right tho, this will be an open and shut case, because the cards are now stacked against this man.



posted on Oct, 30 2017 @ 11:02 AM
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originally posted by: Krazysh0t
The law is the law. You don't get the right to violate the law just so you can issue a citizen's arrest. This is open and shut. Despite what superhero comics might suggest vigilantism is HIGHLY frowned upon by law enforcement.


You're right.

Far better to let her go so she can go burn something else down.

Hey! Maybe this time it'll be a home with a nice family inside and someone will die.



posted on Oct, 30 2017 @ 11:03 AM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t



Basically if this guy hadn't held this woman up with a firearm he would have been in the clear. I'm not sure why people are trying to blame this situation on corruption though.

He claims that he didn't use a firearm. He said that he was in possession of a paintball gun, but he did not use it in the "arrest."

Presumably the police have some reason to believe that he used a weapon. I wonder why they believe that to be the case.

-dex



posted on Oct, 30 2017 @ 11:04 AM
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a reply to: strongfp

Because citizens have rights and an untrained civilian could easily violate those rights without knowing it which could cause the case to be thrown out of court.



posted on Oct, 30 2017 @ 11:05 AM
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a reply to: DexterRiley

Well. Just like that arsonist, he too is entitled to a fair trial. So if he did everything legal in the detainment then he'll be get off as not guilty.



posted on Oct, 30 2017 @ 11:06 AM
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originally posted by: ketsuko

originally posted by: Krazysh0t
The law is the law. You don't get the right to violate the law just so you can issue a citizen's arrest. This is open and shut. Despite what superhero comics might suggest vigilantism is HIGHLY frowned upon by law enforcement.


You're right.

Far better to let her go so she can go burn something else down.

Hey! Maybe this time it'll be a home with a nice family inside and someone will die.

I guess you don't care about the right to due process or other rights involved with getting arrested.



posted on Oct, 30 2017 @ 11:06 AM
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originally posted by: Krazysh0t
a reply to: strongfp

Because citizens have rights and an untrained civilian could easily violate those rights without knowing it which could cause the case to be thrown out of court.


So a photographer filming a woman burning a house(s) down isn't justifiable for citizens arrest?

Don't know how deep corruption runs in Detroit, but I am pretty sure he has phone records of him calling 911. And no-one came or answered.

If you witness a crime and you are able bodied to make the arrest I'd say it's grounds for making a citizens arrest.



posted on Oct, 30 2017 @ 11:08 AM
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originally posted by: strongfp
So a photographer filming a woman burning a house(s) down isn't justifiable for citizens arrest?

Don't know how deep corruption runs in Detroit, but I am pretty sure he has phone records of him calling 911. And no-one came or answered.

If you witness a crime and you are able bodied to make the arrest I'd say it's grounds for making a citizens arrest.

I didn't say he wasn't able to make a citizen's arrest. I'm saying he was arrested as well because he allegedly used a firearm to do it with. Stop twisting my words.



posted on Oct, 30 2017 @ 11:08 AM
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So I guess they Let the woman go?



posted on Oct, 30 2017 @ 11:10 AM
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originally posted by: buddha
So I guess they Let the woman go?


The article indicated that the Fire Chief confirmed that she was the arsonist. And, it also said that she was mentally ill. So, I doubt that she was released.

-dex



posted on Oct, 30 2017 @ 11:11 AM
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originally posted by: Krazysh0t

originally posted by: strongfp
So a photographer filming a woman burning a house(s) down isn't justifiable for citizens arrest?

Don't know how deep corruption runs in Detroit, but I am pretty sure he has phone records of him calling 911. And no-one came or answered.

If you witness a crime and you are able bodied to make the arrest I'd say it's grounds for making a citizens arrest.

I didn't say he wasn't able to make a citizen's arrest. I'm saying he was arrested as well because he allegedly used a firearm to do it with. Stop twisting my words.


He didn't use a firearm.
Someone else said he used a firearm. You are the one already convicting him of using a firearm, he said he HAD a paint ball gun, but didn't use it and from the looks of the article, no fire arm was recovered from the scene or his house and car.



posted on Oct, 30 2017 @ 11:12 AM
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a reply to: strongfp

I'm not convicting him of anything. Did you not see the word "allegedly" in my text or are you just content on purposely not understanding my words? Or do you not know what the word allegedly means?

PS: y'all are one to talk about jumping to conclusions though by insisting this is related to corruption.
edit on 30-10-2017 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 30 2017 @ 11:13 AM
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If there was no firearm found, why are the arson investigators saying there was one?




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