How to Place Someone Under Citizen's Arrest
By Angela Reinholz, eHow Contributor
Making a citizen's arrest on a criminal lets you detain a criminal. Citizen's arrests are not legal in every state, so you should check with your state laws before you attempt to make a citizen's arrest. The criminal whom you want to detain may have a weapon; observe him before you move in to arrest him. If he has a weapon, do not detain him. Call the police instead, and let them know of the crime. A citizen's arrest helps ensure that the criminal is still around when the police arrive.
1. Call the police and alert them to the crime. Tell the police officer on the phone that you are about to make a citizen's arrest and ask them to send a police officer to the scene as quickly as possible.
2. Approach the criminal and inform her that she has broke the law. Tell her that you are putting her under citizen's arrest, and let her know the charges. Ask other citizens to help you make the arrest. This way if the criminal tries to escape or resists arrest you can detain her without injuring yourself or others. If the criminal does resist arrest, call the police again and alert them to the issue. You must not hurt the criminal,
3. Wait for the police to arrive on the scene of the citizen's arrest. Since you have already called the police station there should be police backup shortly. Alternatively, if the person is not resisting you and you have help, you may bring the criminal to the police station. Call the police to let them know that you are bringing a criminal to them.
4. Ask anyone who might have seen the crime take place to write down contact information for you, so that the police can write a detailed report. The police will need witnesses so that they can get all theinformation about the crime. Witnesses may want to go to the police station so that they can report what happened.
5. Give the police all the information on what happened. Tell them what happened in a calm manner and in as much detail as possible.
6. Do not make an arrest if you do not know the exact details of what took place. Also, do not make an arrest if the person looks as if he is going to hurt you or other witnesses. The police do not want injuriesto occur just because a citizen was trying to fight crime.
Tips & Warnings• If the person is bigger than you do not make an arrest. Call the police instead.
• Ask witnesses to stay in the area to help give the police a report.
• Check for weapons before you make a citizen's arrest. You do not want to get injured.
• Citizen's arrests are not legal in every state. Check with your state to make sure theyare legal.
• Be aware that in some states, you may face a civil lawsuit if you arrest someonewho is later cleared of the crime.