Employee placed under Citizens Arrest

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by rclawn, Sep 6, 2019.

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  1. rclawn

    rclawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,300

    Today, one of my employees was placed under citizens arrest by the neighbor of a client. The neighbor thought that my employee had shot a rock through his car window. Unfortunately, the police got involved because the other employee saw what was going on, and thought his coworker was being assaulted. He went over and punched the neighbor twice, and they got out of there shortly after. The police were called and came to our office to investigate. They didn’t arrest either employee, but will be following up after the weekend.

    I am mainly worried about the repercussions this could have for the company, since it was done in the line of work. Specifically what it will mean if insurance gets involved. Anyone ever had something similar?
    zlandman likes this.
  2. weeze

    weeze Banned
    Messages: 17,196

    self defense is not a crime. no worries.

    you can't get arrested for busting out a window with a mower so the neighbor was way out of line.
  3. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,872

    Was CITY PARK involved? Or is that you and you changed your name...I can't remember.
  4. BigJlittleC

    BigJlittleC LawnSite Fanatic
    from Chicago
    Messages: 7,289

    So your employees break a window then beat up the guy and leave. Sounds like some real winners you got there.

    Well you as the employer will be responsible for the broken window. How bad the guy wants to go for having your employees rough him up on top of it is anyone's guess. I would be calling the auto Glass company to have his window repaired asap and hope that's all you'll be on the hook for.
  5. OP

    rclawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,300

    Perhaps I left out the fact that it would have been impossible, from my understanding, that the window was broken by us. The window downhill, and far enough away that it couldn’t have been hit from edger or mower. My client is checking if anyone has footage from a Ring doorbell that will show if the window was broken before they got there.

    I am uneasy about this because given the circumstances, it makes the employees look guilty. Unless we can PROVE it wasn’t us, the neighbor may appear to be in the right
  6. BigJlittleC

    BigJlittleC LawnSite Fanatic
    from Chicago
    Messages: 7,289

    Your employees punched the guy. He is lucky he didn't get arrested and your company name dragged on the dirt.

    Wasn't long ago something about a guy in a landscape truck got into a fight and ended up causing a bunch of trouble for the boss. It was posted on here awhile back.

    It's a shame your employees couldn't control themselves and handle the situation better. If they didn't break the window getting into a fight with the guy doesn't look good on them. Then running away makes it look even worse.

    Did they call you and inform you of the situation before the cops showed up at the office?
  7. RussellB

    RussellB LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 16,019

    Citizens arrest? Did the neighbor grab your employee and hold him prior to the other one punching him?
    Ma&Pa, Cam15, sjessen and 4 others like this.
  8. That Guy Gary

    That Guy Gary LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,378

    Was it even legal for him to make an arrest in the situation? Most places wouldn't allow a citizen to detain a suspect over anything less than a felony. Accidental property damage isn't a crime either.

    This was a civil matter in my opinion, but the guy should have kept his cool. It sounds like he was though and his partner overreacted.

    I doubt there will be much trouble over it, although I think it legally would be considered a self defense situation I'd be concerned about the behavior unless there's more details that haven't been shared, like the man physically restraining the employee.
  9. That Guy Gary

    That Guy Gary LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,378

    That's what I'm curious about. Accidentally breaking a window isn't viewed as criminal as far as I know, so if he restrained him physically the employee was assaulted.
  10. Doc8406

    Doc8406 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 26,798

    Citizen Arrest

    From Wiki

    "A person who makes a citizen's arrest could risk exposing him or herself to possible lawsuits or criminal charges – such as charges of false imprisonment, unlawful restraint, kidnapping, or wrongful arrest – if the wrong person is apprehended or a suspect's civil rights are violated.[4] This is especially true when police forces are attempting to determine who an aggressor is. Private citizens do not enjoy the same immunity from civil liability when making arrests on other private citizens as do police officers.

    The level of responsibility that a person performing a citizen's arrest may bear depends on the jurisdiction."

    From Find Law

    "When Can a Private Citizen Arrest Someone?

    A person can arrest someone that they reasonably suspect of committing a felony, even if the felony didn't occur in the presence of the individual making the arrest. As long as a felony was actually committed and the individual making the arrest knew of the crime, a reasonable suspicion about the identity of the perpetrator will justify their arrest. However, if the crime did not in fact happen, the person making the arrest could become civilly and criminally liable.

    In general, people can't use a citizen's arrest for misdemeanors unless the misdemeanor involves a breach of the peace. Even in these circumstances, however, individuals can only make arrests when they've personally witnessed the criminal behavior and the breach has just occurred or there's a strong likelihood that the breach will continue."
    GRANTSKI, Cam15, ltdlawn and 6 others like this.
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