Citizen’s Arrests by Guardian Angels: Legal Info
So, what IS an arrest? Here are some specific sections of Penal Code that should help. There’s no need to commit them to memory (though it certainly wouldn’t hurt), but familiarizing yourself with these ideas will most definitely be helpful (The numbers preceding each paragraph are the Penal Code number):
834. An arrest is taking a person into custody, in a case and in the manner authorized by law. An arrest may be made by a peace officer or by a private person.
835. An arrest is made by an actual restraint of the person, or by submission to the custody of an officer. The person arrested may be subjected to such restraint as is reasonable for his arrest and detention.
837. A private person may arrest another: 1. For a public offense committed or attempted in his presence. 2. When the person arrested has committed a felony, although not in his presence. 3. When a felony has been in fact committed, and he has reasonable cause for believing the person arrested to have committed it. 839. Any person making an arrest may orally summon as many persons as he deems necessary to aid him therein.
Here’s an important detail:
841. The person making the arrest must inform the person to be arrested of the intention to arrest him, of the cause of the arrest, and the authority to make it, except when the person making the arrest has reasonable cause to believe that the person to be arrested is actually engaged in the commission of or an attempt to commit an offense, or the person to be arrested is pursued immediately after its commission, or after an escape. The person making the arrest must, on request of the person he is arresting, inform the latter of the offense for which he is being arrested.
We are almost ALWAYS going to be arresting someone for a crime “immediately after its commission, or after an escape” so the first paragraph (while true of course) will not usually apply to the Guardian Angels. THIS IS NOT A SMALL DETAIL. YOU ARE NOT “READING ANYONE THEIR RIGHTS”! Just DO make sure you know what crime they’ve committed.
Also note that the second paragraph DOES apply to us, and we MUST have a handle on the details enough to answer this question with some minimal detail!
846. Any person making an arrest may take from the person arrested all offensive weapons which he may have about his person, and must deliver them to the magistrate before whom he is taken.
This means: DO SEARCH FOR WEAPONS as soon as possible if we make an arrest.
847. (a) A private person who has arrested another for the commission of a public offense must, without unnecessary delay, take the person arrested before a magistrate, or deliver him or her to a peace officer.
If we’re going to arrest them, CALL THE POLICE ASAP.