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Can I legally make a citizens arrest or is arresting people only for police?

It was about 9am, and I was getting my morning coffee down at the little gas station mart I go to every morning before work. I was about to walk up to the register, routine like any other day, when a younger kid walked in, wearing a very large black hooded sweater and black jeans. He was doing his best not to show his face as he walked back towards the alcohol freezers. I thought this was odd as it was rather warm out that morning. The next thing I recall there is a large commotion and the young man was trying to run out the door, beer cases in hand. In natural instinct, I just sorta jumped at him, knocking him to the ground. I held him there and told the man behind the counter to call the police, which he had already done. I told the man in black that he was being held on citizens arrest (I had seen it in a show one time). Being that this is a small town, the police were there almost instantly.The police detained the young man and I filled out a police report. Before the man in black was taken out of the court, he exclaimed he would be pressing charges against me for "attacking and detaining him". Can I legally make a citizens arrest or was I wrong?


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    Peter Goldscheider | Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
    438 Cambridge Ave. Suite 250
    Palo Alto, CA 94306
    (650) 323-8296
    You can legally make a citizen's arrest in the presence of a police officer as an alternative to his merely issuing a citation as an officer has to witness a misdemeanor committed in his presence to arrest. If you do it on your own you could be subject to civil liability although if he has truly committed a crime I doubt you will get in trouble as the police will not care and the criminal likely will not find a lawyer to sue you.
    Answer Applies to: California - Replied: 4/26/2013
    Francis John Cowhig | Universal Law Group, Inc.
    430 S. Garfield Avenue
    Alhambra, CA 91801
    (626) 308-9936
    From what you stated, you did nothing wrong. I doubt that the police entertain a request by him to file charges or will allow him to press charges against you.
    Answer Applies to: California - Replied: 4/24/2013
    Steven Alpers | Steven Alpers
    39300 Civic Center Drive #110
    Fremont, CA 94538
    (510) 792-5110
    A citizen's arrest is exactly what you described.? If he committed a crime and you stopped him he can only sue if there was excessive force, like if you shot him get ting away.
    Answer Applies to: California - Replied: 4/23/2013
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