Home invasion suspect tied up with belt during citizen’s arrest
Video has emerged of a group of Surrey, B.C. residents making a citizen’s arrest following a botched home invasion attempt last week.
The footage, which was uploaded to Facebook, shows a suspect lying on a grassy lawn with a belt tied around his neck like a leash.
Police said the incident took place the morning of July 19, when three men tried to break into a home on 124A Street. Unfortunately for them, the people inside fought back.
“It began with an assault and a break-and-enter from the suspects, and that was repelled basically with fisticuffs by the victims,” Cpl. Scotty Schumann said.
The people in the home managed to restrain one man while the others fled in a nearby car.
Some of the residents’ neighbours heard the commotion and came to help as well. Ajay Maharaj said he locked his kids inside their house and ran over to find the suspect already subdued.
“I saw him on the ground. He was beat, like his face was all swollen, and he had bruises everywhere,” Maharaj said.
The suspect was eventually hospitalized for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. Two of the victims were also taken to hospital as a precaution, but police said they weren’t seriously hurt.
According to the RCMP, citizen’s arrests are legal provided the suspects are handed over to police immediately and the use of force is reasonable. In this case, Mounties said the residents acted legally, and none of them are facing charges.
The public should still think carefully before trying to apprehend a suspect, however.
“Certainly when they decide to take action into their own hands it’s a risk, and people need to know that the risk can be grave,” Schumann said.
Criminal lawyers warn people can put themselves at legal risk as well. Toronto shopkeeper David Chen found himself charged with assault and forcible confinement after tying up a shoplifter six years ago, though he was ultimately found not guilty.
“A citizen has to be very cautious,” defence lawyer Lawrence Myers told CTV News. “You have to be very careful that you don’t detain them too long, or you don’t detain them unreasonably.”
Mounties said two of the suspects from last week’s home invasion have been charged, but the third is still outstanding.
With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Nafeesa Karim