Citizen’s arrest leads to charges: Ephrata man accused of false imprisonment after handcuffing suspect in sexual assaults
Dear Readers, I've noticed that almost any contact with Police will result in a ticket/arrest for everyone involved. Just check out National Motorist Assoc. http://www.motorists.org/ for abuses similar to this. Reminds me of Dog Chapman, a bounty hunter, capturing the rapist Luster in Mexico and all the legal problems he encountered. So, when do the good guys win? Blessings, Dona Witmer
By BRETT HAMBRIGHT Staff Writer http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/484945_Citizen-s-arrest-leads-to-charges.html
Some might call John Hall Jr. a crime-stopper.
Police, however, allege he's a criminal.
Hall, of Ephrata, is facing a possible prison sentence for what he thought was a good deed.
He "helped" with the arrest of Zane Robinson, a 20-year-old Denver man accused of sexually assaulting a number of boys.
But police say Hall went too far.
After Hall heard Robinson allegedly confess to the assaults on July 23, Hall handcuffed Robinson and called police.
Officers arrived and took Robinson into custody, who was charged with the alleged assaults.
"The next thing I know, I was asked to go to the station, too," Hall said in a recent interview.
Hall was later charged with false imprisonment. The second-degree misdemeanor carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison.
"This is unreal," Hall said.
A district judge last allowed him to remain free on $500 bail. A preliminary hearing also was scheduled, but it was postponed because Hall did not have an attorney.
And he doesn't know what to do.
But he's adamant about one thing: He's no criminal.
"I know I did the right thing," Hall, 41, said. "Other children could have suffered through this."
Hall maintains it was a citizen's arrest.
"I was protecting the community," he said. "I had probable cause: He admitted."
County officials, including District Attorney Craig Stedman, declined to discuss specifics of the case because it is still pending.
County President Judge Joseph Madenspacher, however, did provide a definition of a citizen's arrest.
Citizen's arrest is appropriate, the judge said, if the person making the arrest observed a felony offense. (Hall admits he did not witness a crime.)
Citizen's arrest also is appropriate, the judge said, "if there is probable cause to believe a felony was committed and the person being arrested committed it."
Madenspacher said those instances are most common in house burglaries or other types of theft.
"It happens more than you think," he said.
Many officials, including Stedman and Madenspacher, agreed that a criminal charge resulting from a citizen's arrest is unusual.
"Typically, we don't see" charges, Madenspacher said, without offering an opinion on Hall's case.
Meanwhile, Robinson is imprisoned on $100,000 bail, charged with seven felonies and other offenses relating to the incidents he allegedly disclosed to Hall.
The confession, according to Hall, happened like this:
During the summer, one of Hall's neighbors, a 13-year-old boy, disclosed the inappropriate contact involving Robinson.
Days later, Hall invited Robinson over to his home.
Hall asked about the allegations and Robinson allegedly confessed. Hall said Robinson admitted he assaulted a number of boys.
Hall, a former security officer, handcuffed Robinson in his living room.
"He said, 'Why are you doing this?' " Hall said, referring to Robinson. "I said, 'I have to.' "
Hall dialed 911 and, minutes later, East Cocalico Township police officers arrived.
Both Hall and Robinson were taken to the police station for questioning.
Hall later received the citation charging him with false imprisonment by mail.
He initially decided to plead guilty. He said his former attorney had arranged a plea deal that would have placed him on probation instead of sending him to jail. Hall said he had second thoughts and withdrew the plea earlier this month.
"Probation for what? I'm not a criminal," Hall said. "I'm not going to take a plea. I'm going to take this as far as I can take it."
Police maintain in charging documents that Hall crossed a line on multiple fronts.
In an affidavit, police allege that inviting Robinson to his home was a breach of the law. Another breach, according to the affidavit, was his use of handcuffs.
"I'm not wrong," Hall said. Robinson "has to be held accountable for his actions."
Note: The links to the old website are not working on this site, and they have not been uploaded to this new site as was promised. Does anyone else prefer the old site? I post on both sites so you can access the article here with working links: http://www.campaignforliberty.com/blog.php?view=42943
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