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View Full Version : Proclaimed Samaritan faces felony gun charge in Calaveras County


Ladyfox
01-26-2010, 10:42 PM
Source: Calaveras Enterprise

http://www.calaverasenterprise.com/articles/2010/01/26/news/news03_samaritan.txt

Full Text:

A young man from Arnold will appear in court today on felony allegations that he negligently discharged a weapon.

Paul Mandell, 19, fired his 20-guage shotgun twice at around 10 a.m. Dec. 29 in an attempt to defend himself and prevent a man accused of assaulting a woman from leaving the scene, he said.

According to a report from the Calaveras County Sheriff's Office, a man identified as John Souza and a female became involved in a domestic dispute. This altercation led to the female becoming injured and running to a neighbor's house for help after being assaulted, the report continued. Mandell confronted the suspect, who was attempting to leave in a vehicle, the report stated, and Mandell disabled it by firing several rounds into it, the report said, adding that the driver was not hit or injured.
Mandell, who is attending Columbia College and volunteers for the fire department there, said he woke up to the sound of his neighbor crying frantically in his house and his brother speaking with a 911 operator on the phone.

“The first thing I heard was, 'Come quick. He's (angry) and he's beating her again,'” he remembered. “I grabbed a brand-new 20-gauge Remington 870 Express shotgun by my bed and loaded three shells – one in the chamber and two in the magazine.”

Admittedly still “a little fuzzy” from sleep, Mandell walked out of his room to see his neighbor being comforted by his mother.

Peering out his window, he said he saw Souza pacing back and forth outside “screaming, hollering and yelling,” for his girlfriend to come out of the house.

“He had his fists clenched and was stomping around like a mad bull,” Mandell said.

“My mom was seeing to the woman who had been beaten,” Mandell said. “He (Souza) said he threw a 2-liter soda bottle at her, but I saw her forehead and it looked like he hit her with a 2-by-4. She was an absolute mess and still is.”

Mandell, who was wearing sweatpants and flip-flops and holding his shotgun, went outside and walked toward Souza, stopping when he was about 20 feet away.

“John sees me and says, 'What's the gun for?' I said, 'The gun's to keep you here. The cops are on their way.' He said, 'You can't do that.' I said, 'I've got the gun.'”

According to Mandell, Souza continued to yell and became even more upset. Mandell again told him that he didn't need to go anywhere because the cops were on their way.

At that point, Souza indicated he was going to leave and walked over to his late-model Ford F-150 and got in.

“If you get in your truck we're going to have a problem,” Mandell said. “That's the time I leveled my gun at him. I told him, 'If you don't get out of the truck, we're going to have some issues.' I stood in front of the truck, about 10 feet away. He would have to go right through me to leave.”

Souza then started the truck and began to drive forward, Mandell said, adding that he felt threatened by Souza's actions.

“When I heard him put his foot on the gas, I shot out his driver's-side front tire,” Mandell said. “It didn't stop him. He kept coming, a little more, so I sidestepped the vehicle and shot out the back tire driver's side, at which point he stopped.”
“I leveled my gun at him and said, 'If you don't get out of the truck right now the next one's in you.' He freaked out and turned off the truck.”

When Mandell was asked what Souza's reaction to this was he said, “I'm pretty sure pissed off doesn't cover it.”

By this time, more neighbors had showed up at the scene and one advised Mandell to put the gun away, which he did. Two sheriff's deputies and a California Highway Patrol car showed up about 15 minutes later and Souza and Mandell were both arrested on the scene.

After giving a statement, Mandell was written up for felony discharge of a firearm and released.

According to the California Penal Code, discharging a firearm in a grossly negligent manner shall be punished by imprisonment in county jail not exceeding one year or by imprisonment in the state prison.

“They wrote me up for felony discharge of a weapon,” Mandell said. “I was just trying to do the right thing. And I was acting in self-defense when I fired the weapon.”
Members of the Sheriff's Office confiscated Mandell's shotgun and 30-30 rifle, along with a box of ammunition for each gun.

Souza was released from jail and has now reconciled with his girlfriend, according to Mandell. A small-claims suit is likely to be filed against Mandell for the damage he caused to Souza's truck rims and tires.

“All in all, I wish I had handled things differently but I stand by my decisions,” Mandell said. “Had I been more awake, I probably wouldn't have gone outside.

“I really feel like, yes, I did overreact, but I think that facing a felony charge is even more of an overreaction. My neighbors all called me and told me I had done the right thing.”

Mandell will be arraigned in court at 2 p.m. today.

Turo
01-26-2010, 10:46 PM
That's bull crap!

Lagduf
01-26-2010, 10:49 PM
That sucks but he probably should have just let the guy drive away.

Gio
01-26-2010, 10:54 PM
Wow, how absurd! That guy is a hero in my book and he is slapped with a Felony for stopping some girl beating jerg off?

-Gio

Intimid8tor
01-26-2010, 11:01 PM
Then she goes back to him. Domestic Disputes are a crazy thing to be involved in because all common sense goes out the window.

darkshier
01-26-2010, 11:03 PM
"Souza was released from jail and has now reconciled with his girlfriend, according to Mandell":rolleyes:

Lagduf
01-26-2010, 11:05 PM
"Souza was released from jail and has now reconciled with his girlfriend, according to Mandell":rolleyes:

That just adds insult to injury to the guy who was just trying to do the right thing.

Imagine if he had been an LEO.

Theseus
01-26-2010, 11:11 PM
As long as he was effecting a citizens arrest he was well within his legal powers. Problem is, try selling that to a jury in California. . . his only saving grace is that he stopped a woman beater. . . something more people hate than guns. . . I hope.

Lagduf
01-26-2010, 11:15 PM
As long as he was effecting a citizens arrest he was well within his legal powers. Problem is, try selling that to a jury in California. . . his only saving grace is that he stopped a woman beater. . . something more people hate than guns. . . I hope.

I just hope any jury really takes that in to consideration.

nrakid88
01-26-2010, 11:17 PM
Wow, welcome to Kali, do the right thing, assisting police in an arrest, and end up in jail. **** this place, any chance incorporation can help change laws for self-defense?

FreedomIsNotFree
01-26-2010, 11:17 PM
Should woulda coulda, but Mandell would be on solid legal ground had he made it clear Souza was under citizens arrest. And that the use of the shotgun was necessary to effect the felony arrest.

nrakid88
01-26-2010, 11:23 PM
Should woulda coulda, but Mandell would be on solid legal ground had he made it clear Souza was under citizens arrest. And that the use of the shotgun was necessary to effect the felony arrest.

I wonder what difference it makes that he states he is putting him under citizens arrest? His intent was clearly the same, confine him till the police arrive.

mark2203
01-26-2010, 11:29 PM
Should woulda coulda, but Mandell would be on solid legal ground had he made it clear Souza was under citizens arrest. And that the use of the shotgun was necessary to effect the felony arrest.

Wouldn't the situation itself and his actions imply that he was attempting to make a felony citizen's arrest, or is he required to state that verbally at the time?

BlackDrop50
01-26-2010, 11:44 PM
Another reminder to not bring your weapon or discharge it outside of your house unless you are outside with nowhere to run and your life is in jeopardy.


The girl was inside, the guy wasn't really assaulting anybody anymore. If he let him go they woulda just got him when he returned. The hero probably wanted him to stay in jail and not come back for him. Sad thing is he got right out and right back with the girl. And he's still living next door, and SUING him now. How crappy.

FreedomIsNotFree
01-26-2010, 11:46 PM
Wouldn't the situation itself and his actions imply that he was attempting to make a felony citizen's arrest, or is he required to state that verbally at the time?

I believe he is charged with specific intent crimes which mean his intent is half of the equation. Considering there are exemptions in the law for citizens using a firearm to effect a citizens arrest his freedom just may hang on what his intentions were.

With that said, a jury will have to decide what his intentions were. My point is just that if he had called 911 and informed them that he was going to arrest his neighbor for beating his wife he may not have even been charged. I can't imagine a LEO wouldn't have opened fire if the suspect would have threatened him with a moving vehicle.

Blue
01-26-2010, 11:49 PM
Whenever there's BS going on out in my neighborhood the shotgun is ready in the house, but I always conduct business with a pistol in my belt, covered with a shirt. I don't want the neighbors knowing that I have guns, and I don't want any he says she says bull**** about anyone pointing a gun at anyone. Next time he needs to think alittle bit more.

Farquaad
01-26-2010, 11:51 PM
I'm sorry but what a Dumb@$$. All that for a girl who got back together with the looser. Should have let him drive off.

FreedomIsNotFree
01-26-2010, 11:54 PM
I wonder what difference it makes that he states he is putting him under citizens arrest? His intent was clearly the same, confine him till the police arrive.

That is one way to look at it and I hope a jury agrees should it go that far. Fact of the matter is if it were a LEO, the woman beater would be dead and everyone would be talking about how it was a legit shoot considering a moving vehicle aimed at you is a deadly weapon.

scout II
01-26-2010, 11:59 PM
Sad thing is,we will read in the paper in a few days or a few months,that this A>>>>hole killed his girlfreind.It is sad and happens all to often.And to think,this lone citizen almost stopped that from happening,and some how he is the bad guy.:mad:

Window_Seat
01-27-2010, 12:30 AM
This goes to prove that here in CA, there is no recognized right to self defense, and you go to jail regardless if you are in danger of being killed by a thug or not. Un*******believable... Makes me want to haul azz to MT or TX right now...

Erik.

dantodd
01-27-2010, 12:58 AM
This goes to prove that here in CA, there is no recognized right to self defense, and you go to jail regardless if you are in danger of being killed by a thug or not. Un*******believable... Makes me want to haul azz to MT or TX right now...

Erik.

Sort of tough to claim self-defense when the shots were fired to stop a fleeing scumbag.

Turo
01-27-2010, 1:19 AM
Sort of tough to claim self-defense when the shots were fired to stop a fleeing scumbag.

A "fleeing" scumbag trying to run the guy over...

The case looks like the shotgunner tried to conduct a citizen's arrest, the perp resisted, and then tried to assault the shotgunner with a vehicle which the shotgunner disabled. He then held the man 'till police got there.

He's all good in my book.

dantodd
01-27-2010, 1:22 AM
A "fleeing" scumbag trying to run the guy over...


Missed the fact that good guy put himself in front of the truck. Objection withdrawn.

randy
01-27-2010, 1:25 AM
Stupid move by the guy with the gun. Bad decisions all around. Secure the female let the guy go give the full decription to the cops and go to bed.

hollabillz
01-27-2010, 2:17 AM
Just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should.

I don't know about ya'll, but I try to avoid heading out onto the public street in front of my house to confront a violent criminal with a deadly weapon at night while the boys in blue are inbound. If you don't end up hurt, mutilated, or murdered, you'll end up arrested and possibly served a felony, but honestly, would you be surprised that the violent criminal reciprocated your brandishing with his own threat? Do you really believe that the coppers racing to the scene are gonna bow before you and congratulate you on how you heroically you handled the situation? Errrr... yeah. Incredibly, there's nothing the slightest bit desirable to me about being in a situation like that.. So I never will be. If I ever have to pull a gun on someone, knock on wood I won't have to, the violent crook will have made that decision, not a short-sighted urge to prove a point. :sleeping:

Now, morally I have no problem with this guy. He meant well and had the best of intentions. But what I think on the subject doesn't matter... what matters is he's a teenager with a felony arrest record, not to mention tons of criminal and civil hassle he doesn't deserve, all because he felt compelled to hold some headcase throwing a tantrum at gunpoint! :mad:

BillCA
01-27-2010, 2:18 AM
Mandell gets some points for trying to do The Right Thing™. But those points get counter-balanced by not making the right decisions...

Mandell, who was wearing sweatpants and flip-flops and holding his shotgun, went outside and walked toward Souza, stopping when he was about 20 feet away.

“John sees me and says, 'What's the gun for?' I said, 'The gun's to keep you here. The cops are on their way.' He said, 'You can't do that.' I said, 'I've got the gun.'”
The correct response was that the gun was to prevent him from further violence. Short of announcing that he was being detained via a citizen's arrest, Mandell should have let the guy go.

According to Mandell, Souza continued to yell and became even more upset. Mandell again told him that he didn't need to go anywhere because the cops were on their way.

At that point, Souza indicated he was going to leave and walked over to his late-model Ford F-150 and got in.

“If you get in your truck we're going to have a problem,” Mandell said. “That's the time I leveled my gun at him. I told him, 'If you don't get out of the truck, we're going to have some issues.' I stood in front of the truck, about 10 feet away. He would have to go right through me to leave.”
Thus, Mandell knowingly and willfully put himself in harm's way by moving in front of the truck. A D.A. will argue that he did this purposefully so that he could attempt to claim "self defense" when Souza attempted to leave in a relatively safe, normal manner.

Souza then started the truck and began to drive forward, Mandell said, adding that he felt threatened by Souza's actions.

“When I heard him put his foot on the gas, I shot out his driver's-side front tire,” Mandell said. “It didn't stop him. He kept coming, a little more, so I sidestepped the vehicle and shot out the back tire driver's side, at which point he stopped.”
“I leveled my gun at him and said, 'If you don't get out of the truck right now the next one's in you.' He freaked out and turned off the truck.”

When Mandell was asked what Souza's reaction to this was he said, “I'm pretty sure pissed off doesn't cover it.”


If he could sidestep the truck before the 2nd shot, why not the first? There was no reasonable belief that Souza would pose a serious danger to others (except perhaps his girlfriend).

Mandell has run afoul of the complexities of California self-defense laws. His attempts to circumvent violence against a neighbor and to prevent the perpetrator from fleeing were well intended. But a bit overboard legally.

Mandell would probably have been better off telling Souza he was "under arrest" for trespassing -- and because he was violent against his girlfriend, Mandell considered him a violent trespasser [now, get on the ground with your hands on your head!]. If the subject decides to flee in his truck, then he lets the police go after a known suspect.

A good judge in this case might allow Mandell to plead to disturbing the peace or disorderly conduct. While at the same time fining Souza for the assault and shoving him to counseling. In a civil dispute a judge might find Mandell liable for the cost of a tire and tell Souza to chalk up the rest of the costs to a "lesson about abusing people".

*sigh*

But then... this is Kaliforniastan.
She'll claim it was her fault he got pissed off and that it wasn't worth him getting killed. He'll end up with a suspended sentence if he completes "anger management" counseling. And both Souza and girlfriend will testify that Mandell was a lunatic blasting away, so he'll get a record, lose his guns and have to pay for damages to the truck.

kcbrown
01-27-2010, 4:23 AM
The idiots who run (and have run) this state have carefully arranged so that it's a big risk to help anyone else who's in trouble unless they're family or a really good friend. They've arranged things so that everything has to work in your favor for you to even have a chance of coming away unscathed. :mad:

I sometimes wish we could speed up this slow motion move towards the widespread misery that is the inevitable result of nobody being willing to help anyone else so that people could at least see cause and effect in action. But no, when that day comes the people who are living in helpless misery will have no idea who and what is responsible for it or how and why it came about.

This guy didn't do absolutely everything right but one shouldn't have to.

If you punish people for doing the right thing often enough, just because they didn't do it perfectly, they'll stop doing the right thing.


With the way this state is headed, it'll eventually get to the point that it won't even be worth calling the cops if someone else is in trouble, because of the trouble you might get into.

:mad:

B Strong
01-27-2010, 6:00 AM
Bad move.

Having the shotgun in hand loaded wasn't a problem, but when he tried to use the thing to effect a citizens arrest he stepped in it.

GrizzlyGuy
01-27-2010, 6:23 AM
It sounds like his biggest mistake was to make statements to the police without first consulting with an attorney.

All of his actions were consistent with him making a private person arrest of a violent felon. Shooting out the tires was arguably lawful under 835 PC (http://law.onecle.com/california/penal/835.html): "The person arrested may be subjected to such restraint as is reasonable for his arrest and detention". Although he erred in not clearly informing Souza that he was under arrest, a good attorney could explain that away, or leave it up to a he-said/he-said difference in recollection where the tie would have gone to the good samaritan based on credibility.

Since he unfortunately did make statements to the police, it will be much easier for him to be convicted on the charge. A lawyer may have been able to get the charges dropped without trial, now that is unlikely.

These videos have been posted thousands of times before, but for the 1010th time...

Don't Talk to Cops (Part 1) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8z7NC5sgik)

Don't Talk to Cops (Part 2) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08fZQWjDVKE)

Smokey510
01-27-2010, 7:35 AM
That's funny, when cops place themselves in front o a vehicle and feel threatened, they shoot the driver. It sounds a lot like this guy handled the situation better than the professionals. Nobody got hurt.

Billy Jack
01-27-2010, 9:03 AM
I am amazed that anyone would post that this was a good shooting. Please take a POST course or criminal law course at the local Community College.

If LE felt the beater possed a threat to the shooter they would have arrested him for 245 PC. They did not. The beater was a fleeing Misdemeanor and you are not allowed to shoot them. He was local, as the story indicates and the shooter walks outside admittedly just out of sleep and makes a bad judgment call.

No amount of rationalization here will change that. LE hates domestic calls as the outcome is quite often a reluctance to prosecute by the female and a reconciliation prior to court appearance. If firearm owners want to present a professional image to anti's this is not the way. You need to condemn the shooters actions.

If you feel his conduct was above board then he should have no problem applying for a CCW in the future. Does this give you a different perspective?

Reminds me of of LAPD in the 1960's. They had a Lt. In charge of officer involved shootings and he would announce at the scene that it was good shooting at the scene of virtually every shooting.

There are bad police shootings, I have investigated a few, just as there are bad civilian shootings. As long as members are unwilling to acknowledge that fact, they will never have the respect of law enforcement and the public at large. It would be nice to see an active LEO, prosecutor or attorney post on this matter.

No emotion, no testosterone, just fact!

Billy Jack



www.californiacaoncealedcarry.com

Ron-Solo
01-27-2010, 9:18 AM
Had that been a LEO, it would have been an out of policy shooting on our department. Very bad tactics by an untrained individual with a deadly weapon. Had the wife beater wanted to run him down, a 20 gauge shotgun is not going to stop an F150. Shooting thetires does not disable a vehicle from moving. How many pursuits do you see on TV where they go miles on the rim at high speeds?

And you CAN'T shoot fleeing suspects in California, except in extreme cases.

kcbrown
01-27-2010, 9:50 AM
Take a policeman and place him in exactly the same situation as Mandell in this case. On top of that, stipulate that his backup is at least 5 minutes away and his vehicle is disabled for whatever reason (so he cannot pursue in his vehicle).

Would the policeman attempt to make an arrest in the same circumstances? If so, how would he go about it? Would he simply let Souza escape?

I don't think there's much question Mandell in this case used poor judgment because the situation was such that letting Souza go was a real option (and probably the best one). But I think bad judgment isn't sufficient cause to charge someone with a felony unless someone actually gets hurt as a result of that bad judgment, and sometimes not even then (depending on the extent of the injuries -- I think death is certainly sufficient grounds for a felony charge in the general case).

This is all personal opinion on my part, of course.

One other thing: with the screwed up way things are, I'd bet money Mandell would have been charged with brandishing if he had done what some suggest and not fired a shot, thereby letting Souza go.

quick draw mcgraw
01-27-2010, 9:56 AM
How about that amazing response time by CHP!! 15 minutes for a violent domestic dispute and man with a gun call. :thumbsup:

Bad situation all around, but it's BS that the cowardly woman beater is most likely going to win a civil suit against this guy and not get charged with domestic violence.

Why does it seem like the criminals get all the breaks in our society, while the good samaritans get screwed?! (yes he probably over reacted, but put yourself in his shoes for a minute instead of being an armchair samaritan)

....and for this gal to reconcile with him after he beats the tar out of her?!?!?!? Well....maybe she deserves it next time?

drutledge79
01-27-2010, 10:11 AM
We aren't talking about Houdini or Osama bin Laden here. He's not going to disappear into some caves for 6 years. This is a wife-beating, jerk-off who is going to get caught in a couple of hours if he decides to "run."

This is definitely a grey-area in my book. Bringing guns into the equation seriously ups the ante and risk for needless violence (can't you imagine the perp. shooting the good samaritan in "self-defense"?) On the other hand, if more people were good samaritans and confronted a-holes like this we'd all be better off. Sometimes people need a punch to the face to keep them in check.

Billy Jack
01-27-2010, 10:26 AM
The threat to the victim had passed. The suspect was simply running his mouth. Small community, where is he going to run to? His only weapon is his mouth.

In my city, when an officer placed himself in harms way by placing themself in front of a fleeing vehicle and then using that as their justification to shoot. Bad judgment, bad shooting!

Law enforcement officers are selected for many attributes. They are given many tools to use in the course of their job. The most effective tool at their disposal is their training and judgement. You can not end all situations with gunfire. If you do so, you will be returned to civilan status very quickly.

The shooter placed himself in harms way without knowing all the facts. I once had occasion to roll on a 'shots fired', attempted murder call. My partner and I rolled Code 3. We were first on scene. First thing we saw was a man behind a vehicle holding a cocked, .45. We were within out legal rights to use deadly force. We did not. The weapon was pointed straight up and the adult male was yelling that he had the suspect on the ground.

At gunpoint, we had him place his weapon on the ground and move away. Next to him on the ground was the shooter. In one of the apartments we found our victim with two shotgun wounds.

You folks that are so anxious to shoot the BG have never been in that position and do not appreciate nor understand the ramifications of using deadly force.

I spend about 90 minutes in interview every two years for my CCW. My interview is with a Sgt. and Lt. Most of that time is drinking coffee and discussing why they do not issue more CCW's. They have ligitimate concerns about public safety and the type of posts we see here seem to reinforce that feeling.

Billy Jack

www.californiaconcealedcarry.com

davescz
01-27-2010, 10:37 AM
seems to me he did not use deadly force, he shot the tires, the truck is going to survive. he did this to stop a felon (wife beater, or girl friend beater) from fleeing, and it appears he did just that. you dont want a mad felons runing around in a truck do you?

the police attitude is bad, we have a hero, and the cops arrest him.

I tell you this, If I ever see a cop injured or being threatened by a felon, I will just look away, and wont lend any assistance. here the police have become the problem.

these laws suck big time. I hope the hero is cleared and is able to sue the cops , the DA and the woman beater for all they have.

MudCamper
01-27-2010, 10:43 AM
The shooter was in the wrong, and is guilty of the charges. It doesn't matter that his victim was a scumbag criminal who may have deserved it morally.

He, and anyone who doesn't understand why should read In The Gravest Extreme (http://ayoob.com/cgi-bin/miva?Merchant2/merchant.mv+Screen=PROD&Store_Code=Ayoob&Product_Code=GE&Category_Code=AMAB).

Billy Jack
01-27-2010, 10:46 AM
davscz, not the type of attitude we want to consider issuing CCW's to.

See previous post. I do not see a hero here. I see a foolish person, exercising poor judgment, who is lucky he is not facing far more serious charges.

Billy Jack

Joe
01-27-2010, 10:54 AM
It sounds like his biggest mistake was to make statements to the police without first consulting with an attorney.

100% correct

dantodd
01-27-2010, 10:55 AM
See previous post. I do not see a hero here. I see a foolish person, exercising poor judgment, who is lucky he is not facing far more serious charges.


Can't believe I agree with BJ again.

Glock22Fan
01-27-2010, 10:57 AM
IMHO, the shooter was totally out of line.

And even more stupid for shooting his mouth off so much.

You can only shoot if you are threatened with death or serious bodily harm, or to protect someone else in that position. Throwing yourself in front of a truck and then shooting doesn't fit this requirement, as all the shooter had to do was to stay standing where he was standing, and there would have been no threat, not to him, not to anyone. The violence towards the GF had stopped, and was unlikely to restart in the immediate future.

He wasn't even in front of the truck when he shot the back tire out.

And this citizen's arrest thing is baloney. The identity of the perp was known. How's he going to hide from the police for more than a few hours?

All the shooter should have done is stand in the background and make sure that there was no escalation.

quick draw mcgraw
01-27-2010, 10:59 AM
I don't think that anyone will dispute that discharging his weapon in that manner was illegal and certainly two wrongs do not make a right, but when faced with an immediate and potentially deadly situation and the lack of any law enforcement on scene I think it would be reasonable for a private citizen to act in a manner that he/she felt was "morally" appropriate and to defend him/herself or another regardless of the letter of the law.

Simply because it's the law doesn't mean that it's right, appropriate, or good and I would hope that if my life was ever in danger that someone would come to my aid without hesitation for fear of the law.

socal2310
01-27-2010, 11:03 AM
Billy Jack,

I have taken POST level II and made a simulated felony arrest under similar circumstances during critical incidents.

The charge was 273.5 PC (http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/waisgate?WAISdocID=61863519488+8+0+0&WAISaction=retrieve):

(a) Any person who willfully inflicts upon a person who is
his or her spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, former cohabitant, or
the mother or father of his or her child, corporal injury resulting
in a traumatic condition, is guilty of a felony, and upon conviction
thereof shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for
two, three, or four years, or in a county jail for not more than one
year, or by a fine of up to six thousand dollars ($6,000) or by both
that fine and imprisonment.Of course, that's all water under the bridge now since he failed to consult with an attorney prior to speaking to the police. The most he can hope for with a good attorney and a cooperative DA is a misdemeanor battery/ vandalism and a suspended sentence, but I wouldn't be holding my breath.


Ryan

PaperPuncher
01-27-2010, 11:18 AM
Good intentions...bad execution. Mandell is probably going suffer some consequences for his actions.

As much as it sucks he did the wrong thing. He was not presented with a life threatening situation, he presented himself to the situation and did so willfully. Sucks but it is what it is.

drutledge79
01-27-2010, 11:27 AM
Also, the girlfriend is a tool for:

1) Getting back with this loser (but is this a surprise?);

and

2) Allowing the abuser to file a claim against the person who came to her defense is just reprehensible.

SgtDinosaur
01-27-2010, 11:35 AM
If the guy was finished assaulting his girlfriend no gunfire was necessary. If he was still beating the crap out of her and it appeared she might die or suffer great bodily harm, then there may be a moral justification. A moral justification may not save you from "the criminal justice system".

M1A Rifleman
01-27-2010, 11:42 AM
Sounds like he will pay for a bad decision.

Blood Ocean
01-27-2010, 11:58 AM
Guys always remember the "three sides to every story rule" and if you are ever in any confrontation that escalates and involves the cops, press charges immediately. He should have requested the officers arrest Souza for attempted murder with his truck.

Sad story, this happened once to me after I was assaulted at a concert in Hollywood. This big guy threw a beer at me, we fought, the cops got involved and arrested ME because the other guy was beaten so badly. They were trying like hell to get a statement out of me and I finally gave them one "that man assaulted me and I want him arrested." Yes I spent the night in jail, but once the DA took a look at two guys prosecuting each other for assault he threw them both out. Will this for sure work for you? Can't say, but if you don't go on the record charging the other party don't be surprised that you're the only one in trouble.

kcbrown
01-27-2010, 12:05 PM
It seems to me that there is a very important question that this raises.

And that is: if the violence has stopped, under what circumstances is it not proper to let the bad guy leave?

Does it matter how many people the bad guy has hurt or killed?

I presume you'd need some sort of reason to believe that the bad guy is likely to harm someone else at some other location before it's acceptable to forcibly stop him from leaving, right? But such a reason would essentially require mind reading skills, wouldn't it?

In this specific case, I suspect the perp would not have harmed someone else had he been allowed to leave, given the nature of the violence here. But how can you know?

If the violence has stopped for now and the bad guy is intent on leaving, should you just let him leave, no matter what damage he's done already?


When is it proper to not let the bad guy leave once the violence has stopped?

MudCamper
01-27-2010, 12:15 PM
People need to understand that what may seen to be morally correct does not correlate with what is legally allowed. The shooter in this case is clearly in the wrong, legally. Everyone who is a gun owner owes it to himself to learn what is legal, and to do so before they need to know.

ZapThyCat
01-27-2010, 12:18 PM
Hold up a second here. I see the shooter protecting himself while making a citizens arrest. This isn't merely a "domestic violence" charge, this is assault and battery. The woman was fleeing for her life. Under that sort of felony charge, the man should be arrested.

Negligent discharge? That's a bit heavy of a charge, he wasn't negligent in any way, he was very careful. "Discharge of firearms within city limits" perhaps, and that's probably an infraction or misdemeanor.

kcbrown
01-27-2010, 12:22 PM
Maybe I should illustrate my question by way of an example.

You're legally CCWing on a school ground (perhaps because you know the principle and he's given you written permission or something). Someone is shooting the children in the school and you can see him doing that through the windows. As you approach the school, he finishes and exits the building. He takes off running towards his car.

The violence has ended.

You have the opportunity to:


Intercept him
Fire on him to take him down

Or you could simply let him escape and call the police (chances are the police are on their way anyway, but you don't know that).


What do you do?


What's the proper thing to do?

What's the legal thing to do?

Is there something you can do that is both proper and legal? Something that is both the right thing to do and the legal thing to do?

If there isn't some action which qualifies as both the right thing to do and the legal thing to do, then doesn't that mean that the law is wrong?

Werewolf1021
01-27-2010, 12:23 PM
http://www.calaverasenterprise.com/articles/2010/01/26/breaking_news/br01_v_paul_mandell.txt

People too busy arguing over stupid crap to see the charges have been dropped :rolleyes:. This was up yesterday at 4PM

"The District Attorney’s Office today dropped all charges against Paul Mandell, 19, an Arnold resident who faced felony allegations that he negligently discharged a weapon."

HKC
01-27-2010, 12:29 PM
Sounds to me like the shooter could have just stayed in the house, shut his mouth, and the scumbag would probably have been arrested. The perp didn't try to leave until the guy went out with a shotgun and told him he was holding him until the police arrived.

Totally unnecessary and extremely foolish. For whatever reason, the kid felt compelled to go outside and be a hero to a situation that didn't need it. Maybe his neighbor is a hottie and he has a thing for her? I dunno, but something like that would explain it.

In any case, hopefully they plea this thing down to a misdemeanor, or better yet, drop the charges and give the kid a break. He's gotta really be feeling like an *** right now, especially after the girl went right back to the scumbag.

HKC
01-27-2010, 12:31 PM
http://www.calaverasenterprise.com/articles/2010/01/26/breaking_news/br01_v_paul_mandell.txt

People too busy arguing over stupid crap to see the charges have been dropped :rolleyes:. This was up yesterday at 4PM

"The District Attorney’s Office today dropped all charges against Paul Mandell, 19, an Arnold resident who faced felony allegations that he negligently discharged a weapon."

Good to hear that common sense prevailed. Thanks for the update.

Maestro Pistolero
01-27-2010, 12:37 PM
He might not have acted wisely, but he was attempting to do good, and acted with a sizable pair. He also didn't shoot anybody. it's not the way I would have handled it. I am not sure, but I seem to remember you can use whatever reasonable force is necessary to stop a fleeing felon if you reasonably believe he may go on to harm someone else. What is the law on this? Not talking about self defense here.

IrishPirate
01-27-2010, 12:45 PM
As long as he was effecting a citizens arrest he was well within his legal powers. Problem is, try selling that to a jury in California. . . his only saving grace is that he stopped a woman beater. . . something more people hate than guns. . . I hope.

+1
hopefully things go well for him....

PaperPuncher
01-27-2010, 12:56 PM
I am elated to hear that a moral victory has been acheived. Still a bad example of what to do in this situation but thank god the good guy finally gets "W".

Just a side note: Jumping in front of a moving vehicle would not constitute attempted murder on the drivers part, this is called suicide.

dantodd
01-27-2010, 1:01 PM
http://www.calaverasenterprise.com/articles/2010/01/26/breaking_news/br01_v_paul_mandell.txt

People too busy arguing over stupid crap to see the charges have been dropped :rolleyes:. This was up yesterday at 4PM

"The District Attorney’s Office today dropped all charges against Paul Mandell, 19, an Arnold resident who faced felony allegations that he negligently discharged a weapon."

That's good to hear.

CnCFunFactory
01-27-2010, 1:24 PM
Good intentions...bad execution. Mandell is probably going suffer some consequences for his actions.

As much as it sucks he did the wrong thing. He was not presented with a life threatening situation, he presented himself to the situation and did so willfully. Sucks but it is what it is.

:iagree:

Gryff
01-27-2010, 1:49 PM
As long as he was effecting a citizens arrest he was well within his legal powers. . . his only saving grace is that he stopped a woman beater. . .

Well, his problem is that he had already stopped beating before he ever fired the gun. California isn't the only state where he would get in trouble, since he is wrong and did not fire the gun as an act of self-defense. If the dirtbag was driving away, than the shooter can't claim that he felt his life to be at risk.

Although the dirtbag deserved it, the current legality reality is that you can't shoot unless you can justify to the cops that lethal force was warranted.

w55
01-27-2010, 1:52 PM
Another reminder to not bring your weapon or discharge it outside of your house unless you are outside with nowhere to run and your life is in jeopardy.


The girl was inside, the guy wasn't really assaulting anybody anymore. If he let him go they woulda just got him when he returned. The hero probably wanted him to stay in jail and not come back for him. Sad thing is he got right out and right back with the girl. And he's still living next door, and SUING him now. How crappy.

Classic , that sucks.

dantodd
01-27-2010, 2:35 PM
Well, his problem is that he had already stopped beating before he ever fired the gun. California isn't the only state where he would get in trouble, since he is wrong and did not fire the gun as an act of self-defense. If the dirtbag was driving away, than the shooter can't claim that he felt his life to be at risk.

If you read the story the dirtbag was driving toward the shooter, but the shooter purposefully put himself in front of the car.

I think it's a wash and I'm glad the DA didn't press any charges. The shooter really shouldn't have fired at the dirtbag and his car though, that is not an act of self-defense. The dirtbag was trying to get out of dodge and the shooter didn't want to get out of the way of the vehicle.

drutledge79
01-27-2010, 2:52 PM
Great news!

Maestro Pistolero
01-27-2010, 2:54 PM
The shooter really shouldn't have fired at the dirtbag and his car though, that is not an act of self-defense.He didn't fire at the man, he shot out the tires. Not wise, but bold. Apparently the DA saw no point in making a cult hero out of the shooter. Good choice, as I think he may have prevailed in court, and that isn't precedent that the DA would like to be responsible for creating.

xrMike
01-27-2010, 2:59 PM
davscz, not the type of attitude we want to consider issuing CCW's to.

See previous post. I do not see a hero here. I see a foolish person, exercising poor judgment, who is lucky he is not facing far more serious charges.

Billy JackNice to see I have the right idea about what constitutes appropriate use of deadly force. There is no way this guy did the right thing. Nobody's life was in danger at that moment. The other guy was just trying to leave.

What if the guy's shotgun pellets had splashed up off the asphalt and hit a bystander or neighbor?

The result was not worth the risks, imo.

Purple K
01-27-2010, 3:48 PM
The felony will end any thoughts he had of a career as a Firefighter.

Window_Seat
01-27-2010, 4:17 PM
Billy Jack... I agree wholeheartedly with your comments, and they are all very well written. Here is the problem I have...

Suppose (as an example) some "mental maniac" comes and busts down my front door with a chainsaw, and starts heading toward me with the CS going, and I have a .40 within immediate reach... Do you expect me to think about the "ramifications" of using DF while having to make such a life or death decision? My thoughts on this or similar situations is that I know for certain that after all is "dispatched", only one thing would be on my mind: How many days, weeks, months, or years will it be before I am able to wake up in the bed of my choosing? That question will be on my mind as long as I'm living, no matter where I live, and no matter how "rightful" I am. What will be most concerning to me is if that should ever happen here in CA.

The reason for these thoughts (and you know as well as I do) is this; we have overzealous DAs who only think about campaigns, elections & reputations, and they have no issues with completely ruining entire families no matter how "right" one person was, or how innocent they are. Most of our lawmakers also have that same attitude, and just don't care. This is why we are here, and engaging in this activity.

Today, there are ongoing issues created by our lawmakers that the Framers were completely against. One example of such is that it's OK for a LEO to be able to protect h/erself now, no matter where they are, on or off duty. The details of that are here in the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_Enforcement_Officers_Safety_Act), and I have a serious problem with it only because we as civilians are "prohibited persons" in this category regardless of whether we are felons or not. The Framers would have gone ballistic at the thought of this for only one reason, and that is because they were aware of this as a precursor to a police state & ultimate total GC.

LEOs have one thing on their minds while OTJ, and that is to be able to go home at the end of their day. I have no problems with that. I have one thing on my mind, and that is to make sure I do what I can to be able to go to work the following day, and return home safely. What I do have a problem with is that LEO being exonerated, while I'm (in a similar situation) going to prison for the rest of my natural life. In the Paul Mandell situation, had he been a person with current LEO credentials, but off duty, he would not have even been placed in HCs. What is wrong with that picture? You can't say that there isn't something wrong with that picture.

It's imperative that we all realize and understand that we are living in a place where this is a very serious issue that we as the responsible & law abiding are severely on the short end of, and the Legislature likes it that way. They honestly believe that the people like it that way, but I sure as hell don't.

And incase you are wondering where I stand on things like AB357, I would like to be able to get mine without having to write a letter "proving" that I have "a good reason to defend myself". With that opinion stated, I also know that 2 words are not going to mean the difference between me being exonerated of any charges or spending the rest of my natural life in a 6x8 cell for exercising my lawful & Constitutional Right to self defense.

Having said all of that (and hoping I was clear, but I apologize if I wasn't) Let me ask your opinion on this deadly situation (http://tinyurl.com/ya8bc7h). Had this happened in Alameda County, what would be the outcome as far as the DA choosing whether to press charges or not? I think that this woman would be behind bars for the rest of her life had this actually happened in AC, and the dispatcher (25 minute LEO response or 2.5 minute response time) would certainly not tell the victim (the lawful homeowner) that s/he can protect h/erself with deadly force. Yes, this is CA, not OK, but that doesn't mean that it won't happen here.

Just my thoughts. Otherwise, the part that I like best about what you say is that it might not be a bad idea for one to take a POST course at your local college, so that one can get a better understanding of the ramifications of having to use deadly force.

Erik.

Maestro Pistolero
01-27-2010, 4:21 PM
The felony will end any thoughts he had of a career as a Firefighter.

What felony? Charges dropped, read the thread before posting.

B Strong
01-27-2010, 4:40 PM
I am amazed that anyone would post that this was a good shooting. Please take a POST course or criminal law course at the local Community College.

If LE felt the beater possed a threat to the shooter they would have arrested him for 245 PC. They did not. The beater was a fleeing Misdemeanor and you are not allowed to shoot them. He was local, as the story indicates and the shooter walks outside admittedly just out of sleep and makes a bad judgment call.

No amount of rationalization here will change that. LE hates domestic calls as the outcome is quite often a reluctance to prosecute by the female and a reconciliation prior to court appearance. If firearm owners want to present a professional image to anti's this is not the way. You need to condemn the shooters actions.

If you feel his conduct was above board then he should have no problem applying for a CCW in the future. Does this give you a different perspective?

Reminds me of of LAPD in the 1960's. They had a Lt. In charge of officer involved shootings and he would announce at the scene that it was good shooting at the scene of virtually every shooting.

There are bad police shootings, I have investigated a few, just as there are bad civilian shootings. As long as members are unwilling to acknowledge that fact, they will never have the respect of law enforcement and the public at large. It would be nice to see an active LEO, prosecutor or attorney post on this matter.

No emotion, no testosterone, just fact!

Billy Jack



www.californiacaoncealedcarry.com

Correct.

As a civilian there are very few situations that would justify firing into a moving motor vehicle, and this wasn't even close.

Sunshine
01-27-2010, 5:02 PM
It warms my heart that the abusive boyfriend and battered girlfriend were able to mend the fences.

hawk81
01-27-2010, 5:27 PM
Lets get one thing staight, cops are not military, so quit calling citizens civilians when you are comparing them to civilian-citizen law enforcement. I'm am sick of hearing these terms being misused when talking about civilian-citizen law enforcement.



Correct.

As a civilian there are very few situations that would justify firing into a moving motor vehicle, and this wasn't even close.

rysmithjr
01-27-2010, 6:25 PM
"Peering out his window, he said he saw Souza pacing back and forth outside “screaming, hollering and yelling,” for his girlfriend to come out of the house."

is it ever wise to try to make a citizen's arrest based on hearsay? He can't testify to anything that occurred before he walked out of the house with a weapon.

GuyW
01-27-2010, 6:33 PM
"Peering out his window, he said he saw Souza pacing back and forth outside “screaming, hollering and yelling,” for his girlfriend to come out of the house."

is it ever wise to try to make a citizen's arrest based on hearsay? He can't testify to anything that occurred before he walked out of the house with a weapon.

I don't think you have the hearsay thing down. Per your statement, he heard Souza say (whatever), and he can testify to / on all of that.
.

CCWFacts
01-27-2010, 6:57 PM
In my opinion...

Very unwise for that guy to get involved. Yes, the BF in this situation was a bad person who should go to jail. But there wasn't an attack in progress. Life wasn't in immediate danger. His best option was to be a good witness and let the police handle it.

Seesm
01-27-2010, 7:12 PM
The kid with the shot gun seems like a great person who maybe saved her life... She went back? The beater will probably do worse to her next time...

Sucks they are charging him with a felony... TOTAL BULLSH*T!!

obeygiant
01-27-2010, 8:08 PM
The kid with the shot gun seems like a great person who maybe saved her life... She went back? The beater will probably do worse to her next time...

Sucks they are charging him with a felony... TOTAL BULLSH*T!!

No felony,charges were dropped. See Werewolf's post below:
http://www.calaverasenterprise.com/articles/2010/01/26/breaking_news/br01_v_paul_mandell.txt

People too busy arguing over stupid crap to see the charges have been dropped :rolleyes:. This was up yesterday at 4PM

"The District Attorney’s Office today dropped all charges against Paul Mandell, 19, an Arnold resident who faced felony allegations that he negligently discharged a weapon."

Meplat
01-27-2010, 10:15 PM
This is good to hear! The guy was stupid. But we are all subject to being stupid. If his heart was in the right place education is better than punishment. That is why we have 25MPH school zones. Just because kids are stupid doesn't mean we should run over them.:D

No felony,charges were dropped. See Werewolf's post below:

quick draw mcgraw
01-28-2010, 5:57 AM
But we are all subject to being stupid. If his heart was in the right place education is better than punishment. That is why we have 25MPH school zones. Just because kids are stupid doesn't mean we should run over them.:D

Well said!...and as the great Forrest Gump once quoted "stupid is as stupid does". lol

.....so how does 'having one's heart in the right place' while arguably doing the wrong thing for the right reason fit into the legal system and more specifically the 'spirit of the law'?......Apparently pretty well in Calaveras County.

I, for one am happy to see that the charges were dropped and that this kid can get on with his goal of becoming a firefighter. Hopefully we all learned a little from this event and will perhaps be more prepared should we find ourselves in a similar situation.

As for the girlfriend reconciling with this douchebag and the possibility of a civil suit against the shooter....well....see Forrest Gump.

Steve G
01-28-2010, 7:36 AM
idiot shooting at a moving car needs some good jail time and a lifetime ban owning weapons.

Mulay El Raisuli
01-28-2010, 7:56 AM
That's funny, when cops place themselves in front o a vehicle and feel threatened, they shoot the driver. It sounds a lot like this guy handled the situation better than the professionals. Nobody got hurt.


Plus 1!


Correct.

As a civilian there are very few situations that would justify firing into a moving motor vehicle, and this wasn't even close.


In theory (at least its what the law says) there's no difference between cops & citizens when it comes to the use of deadly force. So, wouldn't your qualifier ("As a citizen...") be in error?


The Raisuli

YubaRiver
01-28-2010, 8:51 AM
Plus 1!

In theory (at least its what the law says) there's no difference between cops & citizens when it comes to the use of deadly force. So, wouldn't your qualifier ("As a citizen...") be in error?


The Raisuli

Good Samaritan laws regarding medical assistance state that as long as
you stay within your training to assist, you cannot be held liable.

Professional medical service providers are under increased duty to perform
correctly.

Seems there should be a parallel here.

B Strong
01-28-2010, 8:52 AM
Plus 1!





In theory (at least its what the law says) there's no difference between cops & citizens when it comes to the use of deadly force. So, wouldn't your qualifier ("As a citizen...") be in error?


The Raisuli

There is one big difference.

Unless the LEO was involved in out right murder, the agency they are employed by and the municipality they work for will defend them right down the line, and if a civil judgement is entered against them, the city will be paying that judgement in 99.9% of the cases.

A civilian has no such protection.

A civilian can use lethal force to protect their lives and others if they're in imminent danger, but the perp fleeing means the threat is leaving - anybody shooting at that point better have a very good reason to fire.

Glad the kid is in the clear with the criminal charges, and I hope someone has a good talk with him about the use of force.

ChuckBooty
01-28-2010, 9:22 AM
I think the guy was an idiot. There's a 99.9% chance that this woman is going to go back to the wife-beater (....he's beating her AGAIN...) so to run outside and confront the guy is doing nothing but making the situation worse...AND you risk losing your gun rights.

It'd be different if the woman was in the PROCESS of getting beaten, but at this point what he should have done was taken the woman into his house, load his gun in case the maniac approached is PROPERTY and called the cops.

rysmithjr
01-28-2010, 10:24 AM
I don't think you have the hearsay thing down. Per your statement, he heard Souza say (whatever), and he can testify to / on all of that.
.

but hearing him call for her to come out of the house is NOT a violent act that constitutes a felony for which he could make a citizens arrest. He saw no violent acts.

Nodaedul
01-28-2010, 10:37 AM
Why is it always ok when a cop places himself infront of a vehicle then executes the driver if the car moves towards him but it's a felony when a citizen does it?

BillCA
01-29-2010, 1:57 AM
Why is it always ok when a cop places himself infront of a vehicle then executes the driver if the car moves towards him but it's a felony when a citizen does it?

Good question. It boils down to the fact that police are legally empowered to hold and detain people at the scene of a crime, forcibly if necessary. If a LEO on the scene ordered Souza to stay and he got into his car, the LEO would be legally empowered to prevent him from leaving without declaring an arrest. The citizen doesn't have that authority.

If a police officer sees Souza get into and start his vehicle and then puts himself in front of the vehicle while ordering Souza out of the car, his failure to comply AND driving towards the officer violates PC 245(c), a felony. A felony assault on an officer can be met with lethal force.¹

I'm glad the Calaveras county DA saw this for what it was. A young man's actions were "well intended" and he avoided injuries in keeping a potential felony suspect from leaving. His intentions were honorable and his use of the weapon showed he was not "blood thirsty".

This also points out the hazards of getting involved in domestic-violence incidents. The woman approached 3rd parties for aid, comfort and "protection"... yet there is no doubt in my mind that if Souza had barged into the house in a violent, riotous or tumultuous and Mandell killed him, the woman would be on the news crying "he didn't deserve to die." :rolleyes: And might even have testified that she could have "worked it out" with him.


¹ Lethal force can be used, but it gets dicey if the officer deliberately puts himself into unnecessary danger and uses that same danger to justify lethal force. Moving into the path of a running car qualifies.

artherd
01-29-2010, 2:56 AM
Had that been a LEO, it would have been an out of policy shooting on our department. Very bad tactics by an untrained individual with a deadly weapon. Had the wife beater wanted to run him down, a 20 gauge shotgun is not going to stop an F150. Shooting thetires does not disable a vehicle from moving. How many pursuits do you see on TV where they go miles on the rim at high speeds?


Trying to run someone over is Assault with a Deadly Weapon in any department no?

He should have made the first shot to the driver's face in self-defense.

Mulay El Raisuli
01-29-2010, 4:59 AM
There is one big difference.

Unless the LEO was involved in out right murder, the agency they are employed by and the municipality they work for will defend them right down the line, and if a civil judgement is entered against them, the city will be paying that judgement in 99.9% of the cases.

A civilian has no such protection.

A civilian can use lethal force to protect their lives and others if they're in imminent danger, but the perp fleeing means the threat is leaving - anybody shooting at that point better have a very good reason to fire.

Glad the kid is in the clear with the criminal charges, and I hope someone has a good talk with him about the use of force.


That's a bit different from what you wrote before. Here you write about the protections of a citizen vs. a cop. Before you wrote about what is "justified" between the actions of a citizen vs. a cop. I.E., it seemed that you were taking the same approach as BillCA:


Good question. It boils down to the fact that police are legally empowered to hold and detain people at the scene of a crime, forcibly if necessary. If a LEO on the scene ordered Souza to stay and he got into his car, the LEO would be legally empowered to prevent him from leaving without declaring an arrest. The citizen doesn't have that authority.

If a police officer sees Souza get into and start his vehicle and then puts himself in front of the vehicle while ordering Souza out of the car, his failure to comply AND driving towards the officer violates PC 245(c), a felony. A felony assault on an officer can be met with lethal force.


Again, in theory (because that's what the law says) there's zero difference in the Powers To Arrest between a private person & a cop. While I agree that it's way risky, & that the extra $$$ protections of being an active duty cop make such less risky, as a matter of law, Our Hero here had the exact same authority to arrest the slimebag as a cop. And so 245(c) applies just as strongly as it would for a cop.


The Raisuli

B Strong
01-29-2010, 6:27 AM
That's a bit different from what you wrote before. Here you write about the protections of a citizen vs. a cop. Before you wrote about what is "justified" between the actions of a citizen vs. a cop. I.E., it seemed that you were taking the same approach as BillCA:



Again, in theory (because that's what the law says) there's zero difference in the Powers To Arrest between a private person & a cop. While I agree that it's way risky, & that the extra $$$ protections of being an active duty cop make such less risky, as a matter of law, Our Hero here had the exact same authority to arrest the slimebag as a cop. And so 245(c) applies just as strongly as it would for a cop.


The Raisuli

In this case, the shooter did not witness the assault, the perp was not in the process of injuring any other individual, and was (as far as what's in the article) not threatening to injure any other individual - in fact, the perp was leaving the scene.

You can read the PC as you choose, and there's much there (in Theory, as you've pointed out) that would indicate that you can perform a citizen's arrest on the perp.

Where the wheels come off is the firing of a firearm.

The discharge of a firearm takes any incident right into potential lethal force. The only time you can use lethal force as a civilian is in defense of your life, the defense of someone else's life that is in imminent danger, or to stop certain types of crime (i.e. arson of an occupied dwelling)
If you observed a perp shoot an LEO and plugged him as he fled, that would probably qualify as well.

The fact that there is an arguable right to stop a criminal from leaving the scene of a crime doesn't mean you can use lethal force to do so.

As much as everybody seems to argue it, LEO's are treated entirely differently in any case concerning the use of force, and we are not LEO's. Point to the PC all you'd like, but in many jurisdictions if you take it upon yourself to effect the arrest of a perp using a firearm, where the perp is unarmed and you can't prove immediate threat in ten different ways, you're going to be prosecuted.

As much as anyone wants to disagree with this, they can certainly point to the PC, but that PC isn't going to pay your legal fees or for any judgement that might occur in a civil court.

I've been through all the classes, and every instructor advises that you don't escalate force to lethal w/o a credible immediate lethal threat to yourself or others in your immediate area.

I'm all for taking action to prevent a person from being injured, but you have to think about the consequences of your actions, and the firearm better not be your only tool of recourse in every instance.

Maestro Pistolero
01-29-2010, 10:14 AM
In this case, the shooter did not witness the assault, the perp was not in the process of injuring any other individual, and was (as far as what's in the article) not threatening to injure any other individual - in fact, the perp was leaving the scene.
But if the The Raisuli is correct about arrest powers of citizens, (and I am not sure there aren't some differences) he DID have probable cause to believe a felony had been committed. And that would give him certain liberties to use lethal force to detain.

greg36f
01-29-2010, 10:53 AM
But if the The Raisuli is correct about arrest powers of citizens, (and I am not sure there aren't some differences) he DID have probable cause to believe a felony had been committed. And that would give him certain liberties to use lethal force to detain.

There is no right to use lethal force to detain. There are certain "fleeing felon” sections, but this was n NO WAY near that standard. A guy (known suspect) assaulted his girlfriend and tried to leave. He has hit her before and he WILL hit her again. Anyone that stands in front of a vehicle with the intent of stopping that vehicle is a fool. Anyone that shoots at a vehicle with the intent of stopping that vehicle is a bigger fool.

Thank god no one got hurt (because the shooter would probably get sued and the charges wouldnot have been dropped) and he got the break that he deserved, because it really did seem to be a mistake of the heart.

Glock22Fan
01-29-2010, 11:06 AM
However well intentioned, he's darned lucky that some other neighbor didn't come out of his house (late to the scene), see him shooting up a moving truck and shoot him to protect the truck driver!

Doheny
01-29-2010, 11:27 AM
Can't believe I agree with BJ again.

LOL that's what I was thinking (about myself.)

BillCA
01-30-2010, 4:37 AM
Again, in theory (because that's what the law says) there's zero difference in the Powers To Arrest between a private person & a cop. While I agree that it's way risky, & that the extra $$$ protections of being an active duty cop make such less risky, as a matter of law, Our Hero here had the exact same authority to arrest the slimebag as a cop. And so 245(c) applies just as strongly as it would for a cop.

§245(c) defines ADW on a police officer. 245(a) would apply to citizens. And there are significant differences in arrest powers between police and civilians. You need to familiarize yourself with them before making blanket statements.

But if the The Raisuli is correct about arrest powers of citizens, (and I am not sure there aren't some differences) he DID have probable cause to believe a felony had been committed. And that would give him certain liberties to use lethal force to detain.

Not good enough. As a citizen, to arrest for a felony, pursuant to PC §837, you must know:

The person arrested has committed a felony, although not in your presence.
When a felony has been in fact committed, and
You have reasonable cause for believing the person arrested to have committed it.

This means that you know a felony has actually occurred. If you witness it or are told by a credible source that the arrestee is the one who committed the felony then you can make the felony arrest. Otherwise, you have have some reasonable cause to believe the arrestee committed the felony.

In this case, it is unlikely the shooter could establish whether a felony had actually been committed. He might have reasonable cause to believe Souza was responsible for some or all of the girl's injuries, but that could also be simple battery, a misdemeanor.

A peace officer can arrest someone if he has reasonable cause to believe they committed a felony, even if that felony did not occur(§836). Peace officers may also detain persons pursuant to the investigation of a crime without deeming it to be an arrest (§849.5).

In addition, a peace officer has less liability for false arrest that a citizen does. Provided, of course, he acts in good faith and within the law.

Mulay El Raisuli
01-30-2010, 7:24 AM
§245(c) defines ADW on a police officer. 245(a) would apply to citizens. And there are significant differences in arrest powers between police and civilians. You need to familiarize yourself with them before making blanket statements.


I have done so. I note also that you have yet to contradict (with facts) my claim. As it happens, there are no differences between the Powers to Arrest of cops & private persons (because you don't have to be a citizen) FOR A CRIME THAT HAS ACTUALLY OCCURRED. The difference (as you noted) is that a cop has much greater protection just because he's a on duty cop ("on duty" specified because an off duty cop is a private person) if it turns out that a crime didn't actually occur.


Not good enough. As a citizen, to arrest for a felony, pursuant to PC §837, you must know:

The person arrested has committed a felony, although not in your presence.
When a felony has been in fact committed, and
You have reasonable cause for believing the person arrested to have committed it.

This means that you know a felony has actually occurred. If you witness it or are told by a credible source that the arrestee is the one who committed the felony then you can make the felony arrest. Otherwise, you have have some reasonable cause to believe the arrestee committed the felony.

This is correct. But, this is also the case for a cop.


In this case, it is unlikely the shooter could establish whether a felony had actually been committed. He might have reasonable cause to believe Souza was responsible for some or all of the girl's injuries, but that could also be simple battery, a misdemeanor.


From the injuries described, this was clearly a violation of Sec. 245 CPC, which is "wobbler" (a felony or a misdemeanor). Now, it may get reduced later, the victim may not prosecute, etc. But for the purposes of arrest, a crime is always treated as the most serious offense. I.E., a felony in this instance.

So, presented is a woman with big time injuries, with the boyfriend admitting he hit her. Though denying he hit her with anything big time, he still admitted to hitting her. Together, that is more than probable cause for believing a felony had been committed, & that he had committed that felony. Seriously, if a cop had been there, do you think it even within the realm of possibility that he would NOT have arrested the boyfriend?????

Further, this wasn't a "fleeing felon" situation. This was an arrest (albeit a badly handled one). If it were a cop & if he had stood in front of the truck, he would indeed a be a fool (as you said elsewhere) but I think we all here have seen/read of cops doing exactly that, shooting, & having it ruled self defense. So, as I look at the matter again, placing a cop in the shoes of Our Hero, I'm not seeing anything that I haven't seen a cop do.


A peace officer can arrest someone if he has reasonable cause to believe they committed a felony, even if that felony did not occur(§836).


True. But for the reasons pointed out above, not a factor in this instance.


Peace officers may also detain persons pursuant to the investigation of a crime without deeming it to be an arrest (§849.5).


Also true.


In addition, a peace officer has less liability for false arrest that a citizen does. Provided, of course, he acts in good faith and within the law.


And this is the big difference (and the flaw in your argument). Yes, a cop has less liability. Yes, that makes it much safer for a cop (liability wise) to do his job, & so much more risky for a private person. BUT, this has absolutely nothing to do with the authority (or power) to arrest. As a matter of law (or theory, as we both agree on :)) the power to arrest is exactly the same for a both a private person & a cop. Given that reality, I'm quite pleased that the charges were dropped. Because they should have been. Our Hero here didn't do anything that a cop wouldn't have done.


Allow me to bring up something that Yuba River brought up earlier:

Good Samaritan laws regarding medical assistance state that as long as
you stay within your training to assist, you cannot be held liable.

Professional medical service providers are under increased duty to perform
correctly.

Seems there should be a parallel here.


Yes, this is the case when it comes to doctors & nurses. Lets say there's an auto accident. Lets say that Yuba River & I jump out of our respective cars & go help. Lets say further that it goes badly & the guy he's helping dies & that the guy I'm helping dies.

When it comes to the level of scrutiny that the cops & the lawyers are going to apply, they'll use one level to look at his actions, because he's Joe Slob (no offense!) & another (greater) level to look at my actions, because I'm a nurse. This is fair. I know more & so holding me to a standard of review that takes into account my greater knowledge is fair.

But that is NOT the case when it comes to cops & the use of deadly force. When cops get prosecuted or sued, they're held to the "common man" standard (as I'm sure we've all seen in news reports). Their greater level of knowledge & training means NOTHING when it comes to determining liability. The legal basis & justification for this is because everyone is held to that standard. If it's legal to shoot, it doesn't matter a whit whether its a cop or a private person. Both have the exact same standards to follow.

Is it fair that nurses & doctors be held accountable for their greater knowledge & cops aren't? I think so. There are technical matters that doctors & nurses know that Joe Slob doesn't. Whether/when to invoke violence isn't a technical matter, its one of character.


But there is also a philosophical issue involved here:

Someone here has a tagline quoting Sir Robert Peel. Something about how cops do full time what all citizens are expected to do. This is good. This is how it should be. This is something that we should all work for. Because to not act because we are afraid of what the cops might do to us (as opposed to fear of what the bad guy may do) is not the way things should be. The society we should have is the one we used to have; one where a "damsel in distress" (even a fairly stupid one, like the one here) could call out & rightly EXPECT everyone in range of her voice to come to her aid.

It used to be that a guy who inflicted violence on another (not just damsels) was taking quite a chance, & knew he was doing so. Because everyone expected their fellow citizens would come to the aid of anyone being assaulted. We've gotten away from that. This has lead to extreme examples like the Kitty Genovese murder. But the harm this has caused us all also manifests itself in this story. The boyfriend likely would have obeyed a cop. But, he didn't see any reason to do so when it was a Joe Slob stopping him. The problem is that he (like too many of us) see the stopping of bad guys as something that ONLY cops should do.

I disagree. A bad guy should be afraid of EVERYONE. Because EVERYONE shouldn't just have the means of stopping violence, EVERYONE should also have the desire to do so when/if violence occurs before them. That's what keeps bad guys in line (or, more in line) & this is what keeps society in general safer.


Off the soapbox now. You may now resume your regularly scheduled discussion. :)


The Raisuli

BillCA
01-31-2010, 5:22 PM
I'm not going to belabor the point.

Suffice it to say that police officers have a wider lattitude to arrest persons than a citizen does. The differences are spelled out between §836 PC and §837 PC.

It boils down to the fact that the peace officer may arrest you if he thinks a felony occurred (even if it didn't) and a citizen cannot. Moreover, police can legally detain you without a charge pursuant to investigating a possible crime. A citizen doing the same could be charged with false imprisonment or false arrest.

If you want to quibble and split hairs on the literal meaning of "power" (to arrest), I suggest that it is an impractical argument for this forum. We have to deal with the reality of the entire process.


So, presented is a woman with big time injuries, with the boyfriend admitting he hit her. Though denying he hit her with anything big time, he still admitted to hitting her. Together, that is more than probable cause for believing a felony had been committed, & that he had committed that felony. Seriously, if a cop had been there, do you think it even within the realm of possibility that he would NOT have arrested the boyfriend?????
For those of us who are not police officers, just believing a felony was committed isn't enough. You must know that a felony was, in fact, committed. For example, you're in Mandell's shoes and the woman presents herself with a split lip, and torn clothing, but also several slicing gashes on her arm and face. Souza admits he hit her before she ran off. Was a felony committed?

You'd have a simple battery if the lacerations were self-inflicted by her shoving her arm through the window of a door as she fled. Or if they were the result of slamming the bedroom door and a mirror shattering onto her.

In such a case, you could not legally arrest Souza for a felony because no such felony existed.

B Strong
01-31-2010, 6:16 PM
Let me make a point about the difference between "witnessing" an incident and "knowing" that a certain incident occured.

I had a neighbor years back whose marriage went bad - real bad, as in wife on crack.

I came home one evening, and as I approached the front of the house, I observed my friend get out the front door of his place with the wife in a bear hug, and her out of her friggen mind, screaming and kicking.

He dropped her (she landed on her feet, he didn't throw her down or in any way attempt to injure her) on the lawn, and he ran back inside the house and closed and locked the door behind him. The wife was screaming all sorts of nonsense and tried to kick-in the front door.

There was so much commotion that another neighbor, a female, exited her house and she and I witnessed what happened next.

The guy's wife took a full bore run at the big picture window and dove right through it. She attacked my buddy inside the front room, and I hope to God I never see this again, she took a zombie type bite, I mean wild animal stuff, out of his left pec - tore through his shirt like a wild animal - the sound he made when she bit him I've never heard before or since, and I've seen some things.

He managed to fight her off, and she dove out the hole she made in the plate glass like she was shot out of a cannon, and took off down the street. I didn't see any marks on her other than her bloody mouth - this was real live zombie ****, I'm not kidding - and I got him to open the front door and went in to help him. I pulled off his T-shirt and used it with direct pressure on the bite. He's in shock, both from the incident itself and the bite. I ask the neighbor lady to call the cops and paramedics. She runs back to her house to do it. My buddy tells me the wife came home coked out of her mind, and he tried to talk to her and that was it, the fight was on with her trying to beat the **** out of him. He managed to tie her up in the bearhug, and that's the part I walked up on.

I'm making my buddy sit still and holding the shirt to the bite.

It didn't take long for the fire truck and the cops to show.

The first paramedics on the scene take ahold of my buddy, neighbor lady is with me. Cops are right there. As this is going on, more cops arrive on the scene, except they are responding to a domestic violence complaint from the wife, who ran down the street and around the corner to a store and had them call the cops.

Cops want to make an arrest, and I tell them what I witnessed, which they don't believe a friggen word of, but thank goodness that neighbor lady saw it too, and I'll never forget what she told the cops: "She jumped through the window like a stuntwoman! she's crazy!"

The officers looked at the broken glass inside the home, the wound on my buddy, and they put their heads together. My buddy told them about the drug problem, and they listened a little more.

My buddy went from being on his way to jail, to being a victim - if there hadn't of been witnesses, the officers would have only "known" one side of the story, and being predispositioned to believe the story of a woman with a bloody mouth (she did not have any injuries from the head first dive through the window - God must look after drug fools sometimes) my friend would have been guilty in their eyes.

The wife was arrested for felony domestic violence. They divorced. She went all the way down the tubes afaik. He eventually noved up to Washington state and a better life and relationship.

The moral of the story - don't make decisions based on one side of a story, and if you're going to bring a gun into a situation, you for damn sure better not use it for anything other than a very clear-cut case of self defense.

Mulay El Raisuli
02-01-2010, 4:50 AM
I'm not going to belabor the point.

Suffice it to say that police officers have a wider lattitude to arrest persons than a citizen does. The differences are spelled out between §836 PC and §837 PC.

It boils down to the fact that the peace officer may arrest you if he thinks a felony occurred (even if it didn't) and a citizen cannot. Moreover, police can legally detain you without a charge pursuant to investigating a possible crime. A citizen doing the same could be charged with false imprisonment or false arrest.

If you want to quibble and split hairs on the literal meaning of "power" (to arrest), I suggest that it is an impractical argument for this forum. We have to deal with the reality of the entire process.


For those of us who are not police officers, just believing a felony was committed isn't enough. You must know that a felony was, in fact, committed. For example, you're in Mandell's shoes and the woman presents herself with a split lip, and torn clothing, but also several slicing gashes on her arm and face. Souza admits he hit her before she ran off. Was a felony committed?

You'd have a simple battery if the lacerations were self-inflicted by her shoving her arm through the window of a door as she fled. Or if they were the result of slamming the bedroom door and a mirror shattering onto her.

In such a case, you could not legally arrest Souza for a felony because no such felony existed.


But again, detaining isn't the subject of discussion, arrest is. When it comes to that, there's zero difference between cop & private person. To say otherwise is FUD.


The important part of your hypothetical is that a private person could still arrest Souza. Being familiar with 836-837 CPC, I'll add that a private person isn't required to be overly specific. There's no call for him to say "I'm arresting you for violation of <fill in the blank> CPC." Just a simple, "I'm placing you under private person's arrest for hitting that woman" is as specific as he need get. The bit you add about the difference between cuts from broken mirrors versus fists is actually quite irrelevant at this point.

Which is why your hypothetical rates as FUD also.


The Raisuli

chuckdc
02-01-2010, 3:26 PM
For those of us who are not police officers, just believing a felony was committed isn't enough. You must know that a felony was, in fact, committed. For example, you're in Mandell's shoes and the woman presents herself with a split lip, and torn clothing, but also several slicing gashes on her arm and face. Souza admits he hit her before she ran off. Was a felony committed?

You'd have a simple battery if the lacerations were self-inflicted by her shoving her arm through the window of a door as she fled. Or if they were the result of slamming the bedroom door and a mirror shattering onto her.

In such a case, you could not legally arrest Souza for a felony because no such felony existed.


Wrong.. because they were boyfriend/girlfriend, it automatically goes up to 273.5PC which is a felony. Pretty much anything he did that (more or less) left a mark, is a felony. If you knew this (even as a 'civilian') you'd have grounds right there.


As far as the charge of "negligent" discharge of a firearm, it'd be hard to show how the guy in this case was "negligent" in how he fired it.

rabidmonk
02-01-2010, 6:23 PM
I didn't read everyone's post, but why did they take his 30-30 rifle and his ammo? I understand why they took the shotgun, but why a rifle that wasn't used in the incident?

raycm2
02-01-2010, 7:40 PM
why a rifle that wasn't used in the incident?

Because when he commited a crime with a firearm he lost his right to KABA. The OP (and others) should read Massad Ayoob's book "In The Gravest Extreme".

Ray

rabidmonk
02-01-2010, 7:55 PM
Because when he commited a crime with a firearm he lost his right to KABA. The OP (and others) should read Massad Ayoob's book "In The Gravest Extreme".

Ray

Understood, but he has yet to be convicted and lose his rights.

NorCalMama
02-01-2010, 8:09 PM
Sad sad day we're in... had this happened in the 1800's, the guy would have been considered a hero. WTF?!
It's like Michael Savage says over and over, we are living in Alice in Wonderland.

MSL209
02-02-2010, 12:06 AM
Charges were dropped! http://www.calaverasenterprise.com/articles/2010/01/26/breaking_news/br01_v_paul_mandell.txt :clap:
(http://www.calaverasenterprise.com/articles/2010/01/26/breaking_news/br01_v_paul_mandell.txt)