Arresting Tales

Freelance photographer captures citizen's arrest


Freelance photojournalist Mike Anzaldi was in the right place at the right time this weekend.  While stopping for lunch in Chinatown, he happened on the aftermath of a purse snatching.

What you see in this series of photos is a couple of good Samaritans detaining the bad guy.  It gives you a good notion of what cops deal with all the time--the bad guy is a biter, and ultimately the only thing that controls him is getting hit.




 

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19 Comments

Mr. Brown Thumb said:

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Holy Crap!

Those Samaritans are so going to get sued, I know what the audio says but the visuals looks pretty bad.

Joe the Cop said:

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Bill & Mr. Brown Thumb: sure, they could get sued, but probably won't. Here's what the Illinois Compiled Statutes say about arrests by private citizens:

725 ILCS 5/107-3 Arrest by a private person

"Any person may arrest another when he has reasonable grounds to believe that an offense other than an ordinance violation is being committed."

It seems clear to me, based on the photographs and descriptions of the incident, that those citizens acted within the law.

Bill80 said:

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That was pretty much my reaction when I first saw the photos.

glg said:

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So why isn't the bad guy being charged with assault for the biting?

Joe the Cop said:

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glg, simple assault, under Illinois law, means that someone has threatened another person, placing the victim in fear of receiving a battery. Battery is the is the crime of causing bodily harm to another(striking or kicking, for instance), or making physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature. I'm going to try and find out what the bad guy got charged with.

I'm assuming, based on the video, that he stole a woman's purse/money/cell phone. Depending on the circumstances, that would either qualify as a robbery or as a theft from person, both of which are felonies. The story says he was charged with misdemeanors, which surprises me.

DW said:

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I wonder if she go her valuables back. Samaritans took a chance at restraining the guy.

DonnyTheJ said:

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The headline should read "GOOD SAMARITANS STRUGGLE WITH CRIMINAL WHILE PHOTOGRAPHER STANDS THERE AND JUST WATCHES."

Craig Kanalley said:

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Certainly, it's his job to take pictures, but I wondered about this too. Makes for an awkward situation if nothing else.

Joe the Cop said:

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I don't fault the photographer for doing his job. It looks like there were plenty of people on scene quickly enough, and he did a great service in my opinion by documenting the incident and providing evidence. I'd buy him a beer if I could.

Catch4 said:

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Thats pretty funny. This reporter concluded the guy with no shirt must have done something because he was fighting citizens. If the police were trying to get this guy in custody he probably would have said the police were beating him!

Joe the Cop said:

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Catch4, if the TV show "Cops" has taught us anything, it's that the guy without a shirt on is always guilty of something. It's almost an unwritten law in many communities--don't get involved with the police until you've taken your shirt off.

JulieDiCaro said:

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LMAO!!! When I was at DePaul for orientation, I saw a guy make off with a CD from the music store that used to be on the first floor of the Jackson Campus. I took off after him screaming "Stop! Citizen's arrest!"

He didn't stop.

Eventually, my dad caught up with me and made me stop running.

The end.

Steve Dale said:

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I wish I could post a video response....Gomer Pyle hollering 'Citizen's Arrest.' I do wonder about it taking longer than perhaps it should have for police to arrive. I applaud those who stepping in to help this woman. I do wonder what did happen to her phone or purse. Or my worry, sometimes things aren't always what they seem - what if they stepped into a domestic issue rather than a street crime? (unless they saw it happen). Bottom line, if EVERYONE in the community cared and stepped up, we wouldn't have as much crime. I do believe a part of the reason why we have more crime in some neighborhoods (again A PART of the reason) is that in some places citizens have more tolerance than in other places.

EB said:

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Wow. Fascinating photos. I admire the tenacity of the good Samaritans who were keeping this guy restrained. With all the biting, I wondered, at what point do you let the guy go? But you know if he "goes" then he's off to commit another crime.

Joe Germuska said:

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I don't think the photographer deserves any criticism. His documentation is critically important to any future efforts to figure out what went on. Besides, it's unlikely that one more guy piling on would have made a difference.

upallnight said:

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The lady in the story is my cousin and I can tell you that it was not a domestic issue, but an everyday mugging in Chicago because the public have become so jaded to getting involved with helping people in distress. Thanks to all the good samaritans that came to the aide of my cousin.

noinfoavail said:

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although it sounds like the guy deserved the whack he got...does anyone else find it ironic that "they only punched him to calm him down." Yeah, getting hit certainly makes me calmer.

Joe the Cop said:

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noinfo, I also got a kick out of the photographer's description. The language he used was similar to what you might find in a police use of force report, and it made me wonder if he has any friends or family in law enforcement.

As far as the suspect deserving "the whack he got", I'd say he did. Assuming that the citizens acted reasonably in detaining the suspect, they then had a right under Illinois law to use reasonable force to defend themselves:

720 ILCS 5/7-1 Use of force in defense of person

"A person is justified in the use of force against another when and to the extent that he reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or another against such other's imminent use of unlawful force. However, he is justified in the use of force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm only if he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or another, or the commission of a forcible felony."

While punching someone might not "calm him down" it can be a very effective way of stunning a combative person into submission, or at least of changing the bad guy's channel to make him easier to control." Once a bad guy starts biting, it's time to punch.

Joe the Cop said:

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Wow, thanks for all the great comments. I'll try and respond to a few

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