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On Monday, a Las Vegas open carrier, Brandon Francis, made a citizens arrest on a hit and run suspect. Francis had just seen the driver hit a pedestrian and drive away. Francis drove after the suspect, cut him off, then ordered him out of the car at gun point.

It’s clear from the video that Francis was open carrying his pistol. Nevada has always been an open carry state. In interviews with two television stations, he is open carrying.

From lasvegasnow.com:

Matthew Shaykin, 31, is facing felony hit and run charges after allegedly hitting a pedestrian near Maverick and Smoke Ranch, but the only thing on everyone’s minds today is his takedown.

In the dramatic video taken by a bystander before it was posted to Facebook, Brandon Francis could be seen pulling his gun and making a citizen’s arrest of Shaykin. Francis says what you don’t see on the video are the moments leading up to the confrontation. …

Metro police said every situation is different when it comes to citizens arrests, but in this case, the officers on scene determined Francis would not face any charges. Metro Police says the 24-year-old man who was hit suffered multiple broken bones but is recovering from non-life threatening injuries.

Francis said the man’s family reached out to him to thank him for his efforts last night.

While Francis wasn’t apparently in danger and went above and beyond, it’s hard to argue with success. There is no doubt that he successfully stopped the hit and run driver, survived the encounter with the police, and didn’t get into any legal trouble. So far. No one was shot, and the hit and run driver’s victim’s family thanked Francis.

It’s easy to make tactical decision from the comfort of a keyboard hundreds of miles away from the action. While the hit and run driver had demonstrated that he was a threat to the community, another possibility would have been following him while on the phone with police. Having tried something like that once, only to have the irresponsible driver speed up, I know it doesn’t always work out. High speed chases in a privately owned vehicle are generally a bad idea.

This is another case of an open carrier using his firearm for the benefit of the community.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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78 Responses to Open Carrier Makes Citizens Arrest on Hit and Run Driver

  1. Ah no. Chase a dude and pull your gun on him? I commend him but so much can and will go wrong. Maybe Ralph can weigh in on this Lone Ranger…

  2. Unfortunately, in most states, you become the aggressor if you chase the bad guy, and you risk arrest and prosecution. Also, if you injure someone or damage property in the chase, you will probably lose the predictable lawsuit, and your insurance company will probably leave you high and dry. Regardless, I will gladly heap praise on the guy for catching the dirt bag.

    • “… you become the aggressor if you chase the bad guy …”

      Says who? A hit-and-run driver just hit someone with a deadly weapon (vehicle), caused severe injuries (multiple broken bones), and drove away. As long as they are still wielding their deadly weapon (vehicle), they are still a threat … not to mention the very real possibility that the hit-and-run driver is a spree-killer or terrorist on a rampage. Given those FACTS, a defense attorney can easily argue that a person would be justified to draw on that hit-and-run driver.

      Is there some definite legal risk? Sure. Is there some definite risk to society if we let the hit-and-run driver go? Absolutely … especially if the hit-and-run driver is drunk.

        • bob350,

          What you are describing, according to my understanding, refers to an aggressor who tried to punch you and then walks away. If you pursue that aggressor with the intent of continuing to fight, you become the aggressor and would be outside the law. On the other hand, I am not aware of any illegality in pursuing that aggressor with the intent of arresting them for the felony that you just saw them commit.

          The same applies to an attacker with a firearm who just shot you (or tried to shoot you). As long as they still have the firearm in hand, they are a deadly threat. It doesn’t matter which way they are moving or how fast they are moving because they could turn and fire at any instant … or simply be moving to cover or to a better position to attack you. As long as the intention of your pursuit is to arrest that attacker, you are not committing any crimes.

          Now, keep in mind that you should have compelling evidence which establishes that the other person is the attacker who committed a felony and you are pursuing in order to arrest. Without that compelling evidence, police and the local prosecutor may decide that you were the attacker.

          For reference I am not an attorney and the above is my opinion, not legal advice. Consult an attorney to clarify any questions in your mind.

  3. I support citizens arrest, and certainly would support such on a jury. Cops can’t be everywhere all the time. People who put their own safety on the line to assist others in need deserve praise, not scorn.

      • Fuck and no. Are you kidding me? What could go wrong? Another fine example of Zimmerman complex.

        • Zimmerman witnessed no crime – at all – but took chase. These are non-commensurate subjects you are comparing. The subject of this article witnessed a felony.

        • Darenger,
          I’m discussing the ideas behind the comparison here, not the guilt of Zimmerman.

  4. Unnecessary. Get the plate, call the cops, provide witness statement. I had a guy take off after he cut me off on my motorcycle and I slammed into the side of him. I could have easily out run him and done the same thing, but I called the cops instead.

    Also, OC vs CC in this particular case had absolutely zero impact on the events.

    • The impact of OC vs CC in this case may well be that in Nevada there is no State Permission Slip (license to carry) required in order to Open Carry. The state has preemption in gun laws and the State and its Constitution are moot on the subject of Open Carry.

  5. Wisdom and bravery rarely occupy the same space at the same time. Still, each has its place, and I’ll take a risk taker over a worrier any time.

  6. i wish more people were more willing to go and do the thing, rather than just watch it through a smart phone camera. i think this isnt a vigilante or a cop wannabe or whatever slur you want to throw at him. i think this is a compassionate dude who cares about what goes on in his community. good for him.

      • Seriously man, get off it. You clearly have no idea what you are talking about (Zimmerman was attacked AND ultimately not convicted despite all the public misconception and outright lies) are evidently perfectly complacent waiting for the police when *YOU* need to take action. Let me guess, you would not have rendered aid to the hit pedestrian either? Better to wait for an ambulence? Why are you even on this site in that case? You don’t need a gun, just wait for the police or the army, right?

        This person acted rashly, but bravely, and had a good outcome. Why can’t you take it for what it is and stop grandstanding based on an unrelated event in which you clearly have no idea what transpired despite the ready availability of evidence.

      • One of the best documented and completely hashed out cases in modern times and yet you continue to beat that broken drum. Seriously, Dude… get some help, man.

      • Zimmerman witnessed no crime – at all – but took chase. These are non-commensurate subjects you are comparing. The subject of this article witnessed a felony.

        • He took chase huh, even after the prosecutors admitted that he was merely following Skittles while relaying information like a responsible neighborhood watchman vetted and supported by his community. Then he was ambushed. What alternative world are you living in?

        • I’m sorry you’re upset about these facts? Zimmerman took chase when he witnessed no crime at all. He followed a person he suspected of a crime. He didn’t witness that person commit any crime. The subject of this article actually witnessed a felony and pursued the criminal.

  7. It clearly turned out OK, but not what I would have done.

    I have gotten to be old by being relatively cautious, in fact the only time a bad guy knew I was armed was because there were five of them and my girlfriend were cut off from retreat and even then I just took off my coat to reveal that I was armed. In my case if I had to clear leather it would have been to put rounds on target. They understood my implicit threat and lost interest in us and went their way.

  8. Hard to argue with success? Nope, pretty easy, actually.

    He took numerous risks, each of which carried high potential for even greater damage and injury to the public. Meanwhile, he left and injured person in the street where they could’ve been bled out, been hit again or prompted another accident.

    Smartest move would’ve been to call it in with a description, then tend to the victim.

    Now, he may have just been amped up at that instant, so he gave chase. However, giving two T.V. interviews, while showing off hid gun and wearing ridiculous ‘Murica regalia? Nope. All of that says pure jack wagon, running around like Rambo, and discredits him.

    • He took numerous risks, each of which carried high potential for even greater damage and injury to the public.

      Not really any more than police would have taken. Police also chase down others, cut them off, and arrest them, so what really is the additional risk there to the public?

      Meanwhile, he left and injured person in the street where they could’ve been bled out, been hit again or prompted another accident.

      Source? How do we know that others were not coming to the person’s assistance? Maybe he thought he could better help that person not by helping others attend to that persons injuries, but by ensuring justice.

      Smartest move would’ve been to call it in with a description, then tend to the victim.

      Smartest move for him? Or smartest move for the victim? Or the smartest move for the next victim the bad guy hit?

      Now, he may have just been amped up at that instant, so he gave chase. However, giving two T.V. interviews, while showing off hid gun and wearing ridiculous ‘Murica regalia? Nope. All of that says pure jack wagon, running around like Rambo, and discredits him.

      It discredits him for people who don’t like “Merica” shirts or the word “Merica.” To many people the word “Merica” is not a discredit at all.

      Yea, he took risks, and he took them alone, and finally, his risk that he took ensured justice. The bad guy didn’t get away.

    • Depends J-H. You don’t know the circumstances. He made the judgement call too chase down and make a citizens arrest of man that could well have been a murderer, (he only knew a guy driving a car could have just killed a pedestrian) and that could possibly murder again. And did so successfully.

      As for insulting him for “murica regalia” with OC? You sound just like a liberal/regressive that is ashamed to be an American and that hates the second amendment.

      I’m proud to call him a fellow american. You,? Up till now, I’ve generally thought well of you. Now? Not so much.

  9. I support pro2@ for self-defense, and constitutional freedom. But, not to play police officer. A duty to {* armed *} retreat, , or defend. Not to pursue. I would defend myself against some self appointed dumb@$$ that thinks their going to “Civy-SWAT ” me because they watched to many cop dramas on cable. Also, I keep and carry *(without police issued press credentials, or a library card)* a nice pocket Sony Grv 77 handicam blu-ray codec 1080p/60p with 17x optic zoom. The videos, which would look very nice if displayed in a court room, or Fox news.

    • But, not to play police officer.

      So you would not want the freedom to pursue? We have the freedom to pursue. Don’t let anyone tell you different, and don’t wish legislation on others to eliminate their freedom to pursue.

      It is a felony to hit someone with your car and drive/run away.

      *United States
      See also: Citizen’s arrest in the United States
      Common law
      Most states have codified the common law rule that a warrantless arrest may be made by a private person for a felony, misdemeanor or “breach of peace”.

      *Differing liability from police
      Private persons are occasionally granted immunity from civil or criminal liability like the police are when arresting others. While the powers to arrest are similar, police are entitled to mistake of fact in most cases, while citizens can be held to a stricter liability depending on the individual state. Police can also detain anyone upon reasonable suspicion.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizen%27s_arrest#United_States

        • ‘Should’ is obviously highly subjective, and the only one who can decide that is the one who does or does not choose to give chase.

          I can’t be certain, but I have a feeling if we were able to quantify the total good vs. harm done by people who choose to act on their own to protect the public by confronting/catching perps instead of waiting on law enforcement, the net result would validate their actions as a group.

          Imagine the deterrent value if criminals were faced with a public where this kind of action was the norm rather than the exception. Where criminals didn’t simply look around for cops before perpetrating a crime, but looked around and saw every able bodied person around as a potential ‘arrester’ that might deliver them to law enforcement if they followed through with their criminal intent.

          I don’t support mob justice per se, as the term generally implies retributive violence, but mob arrest is another matter entirely.

        • I’m with you, Frank. We should bring back the “hue and cry” in some form or fashion. Definite deterrent value.

  10. I suggest putting this into the context of today, rather than Monday, now that we have seen the carnage in Nice caused by vehicular mayhem. Then consider the other possible outcomes if Francis hadn’t acted as he did. Suppose the perp kept fleeing once the cops got on his tail, and the next crosswalk he blasted through was a lot more crowded.

    Yes, all kinds of shit could have gone wrong with this citizen’s arrest, but that has no bearing on whether Francis acted in the right, morally speaking. I say damn right he did.

    I raise my beer glass to this guy. Way up.

  11. I know don’t about you folks…But, from what @Anonymous posted..I have a problem…Would any of you folks react with lethal or non-lethal force if some dingle-berry with *a citizen police ideology * decides that you broke the law and pursues you with your family, or friends….And maybe tries to hold you at bay…Would you react…Anyhow, I’m glad it worked out for the resident of Nevada. But, I don’t live in Nevada. If he did this in my state…He would probably would have been arrested and charged . His pistol confiscated, and permit revoked. 5 years ago , in my home township. There was a string of incidents with a person who was impersonating an undercover police officer. Complete with police gear, hidden cruiser lights, the whole meal deal…This clown was lying in wait to pullover unsuspecting drivers. Hiding on back roads, and on the highway…This man started to pullover attractive young women. And you can probably guess that it was going to get ugly real soon. Fortunately, one of his victims didn’t believe he was a real police officer, and quietly alert Law Enforcement. Who took him down hard, while being caught in the act. The man turned our to be an employee for our use-to-be Blockbuster video store!

    • It depends on the context. There are many kinds of minor crimes where this would have been an inappropriate response, but the arresting citizen in this case had just witnessed a felony hit and run, which turned out to involve serious injury.

      Willfully impersonating a cop as you tell it is a whole other enchilada.

    • I know don’t about you folks…But, from what @Anonymous posted..I have a problem…Would any of you folks react with lethal or non-lethal force if some dingle-berry with *a citizen police ideology * decides that you broke the law and pursues you with your family, or friends….And maybe tries to hold you at bay…

      Don’t get me wrong, the “vigilante” puts himself at great risk, especially if he gets the wrong guy. The legal and physical (getting shot) consequences could be severe.

      But he guy just committed a felony and tried to run away. This implies that the perp is indeed a credible threat. A criminal – performing a felony – and running away.

      Also, it really wouldn’t appear any different to the perp if instead of a vigilante, he got an off duty cop in plain clothes, or an undercover cop, etc.

      And … Obviously context is everything. It probably isn’t a good idea to try to arrest someone that rolled through a stop sign, or was jaywalking, etc.

      This guy witnessed a felony, and chose to put himself at risk to ensure justice. You don’t have to do this, and most is us wouldn’t. But I’m not going to scorn him for doing so.

  12. It worked out in this case. No one else got hurt and the police and prosecutor had their heads on straight. I would have either have gotten close enough for a license plate number and then quit following or followed well back so as not to prompt a chase.

    A few years ago, in my city, a witness to a hit and run drove around the surrounding neighborhood until he spotted the automobile involved and passed its description and location to the police. The runner didn’t know he had been found until the police arrived at his door.

  13. Seriously? Citzen’s arrest?

    Unless I KNOW you’re a cop, you pull a gun on me playing pooleece, I shoot you in the face, done.

    • Let’s pretend you are saying that as the perp in this case. Then you would most likely be on the hook for manslaughter in addition to felony hit and run, since your original felony crime caused the confrontation that resulted in the death of the citizen trying to arrest you.

      You can’t claim self defense in that hit-and-run scenario (as the driver) any more than a burglar who kills a homeowner that confronts him with a gun and tries to detain him. Well, you can claim it, but I doubt the jury is going to see things your way.

      Remember that recent story about a home invader charged in the death of his accomplice, who was shot by a homeowner? He didn’t even do the shooting, but he was charged because he was involved in a crime that led to it.

      • I wasnt saying that as the perp in this case…

        i wont just sit there and be “arrested” by a vigilante because he thinks i did something he doesnt like

        • Don’t commit any felonies, accidental manslaughters, attempted murders, etc, and you should be alright.

        • James in AZ. Get it right. Because you really have it wrong. A vigilante is one that punishes a law breaker, he is judge, jury and executioner.

          What this man did was entirely with in the law. He made a citizens arrest, and held the person until a cop showed up.

        • @ThomasR

          No he wasnt within the law. Assuming the perp was not on a hit and run rampage, the pooleece wannabe threatened lethal force on someone not posing a lethal threat.

    • You can outdraw a presented weapon and shoot with precision accuracy? Cool.

      Besides, part of being a good guy with a gun means being…a good guy. Not an attempted murderer via vehicle.

      Or did you miss that whole part? You know, the part where the guy he caught had just committed a felony, so any self defense claim incident to that is very unlikely to fly?

      • Outdrawing or not depends on the tacticool situation. I might as well just drive over a dindu apparently carjacking me.

        Not being an attempted murderer — um… I get that. I’ll try harder from now on.

        Now onto the “self defence” claim in this particular case, my take:

        I believe you know that justifiable lethal force (or the threat of it) can only used when the lethal threat is imminent and credible.

        I dont know, in this case, whether the perp was on a rampage, or just driving away harmlessly. (It seems to be the latter, so let’s pretend.)

        I dunno how is threatening the perp with lethal force justified in this case. I’m not a fan of cops point guns at people posing no lethal threat, so this extends to cop wannabes. If you are, well, then I’m not talking sense at all.

        Since citizen’s arrest is legal in this area (not that i agree with it), I dont see a legal problem regarding the arrest in and of it self.

        However, from a reasonable man’s standpoint, all the perp saw, was a carjacker posing a lethal threat. The difference between a cop in full uniform and a cop wannabe, is that a reasonable man could not justifiably resist the arrest by the former, the latter not so much.

        Were I a juror, if the perp had shot or run over the vigilante, what would I do? Not a damn thing. To a reasonable man it just looks like carjacking with lethal force. (Hit and run charges are another story). And i’d definitely convict the the vigilante with excessive use of force and reckless endangerment, for pointing the gun.

        Again, this is all supposing the perp was not on a rampage like in Nice.

        • Whatever. If you perform a felony, and then in the process shoot a person trying to arrest you after witnessing your felonious activities, you won’t get off for self defense. Which is why if you are going to perform a citizens arrest, you better be damn sure you got the right guy, and also accept that you are dealing with a felonious criminal that may not like that you are some “vigilante” trying to perform a citizens arrest and may be confused that he is not a felonious criminal but in fact a good guy looking to defend himself with lethal force against imminent threats.

        • Were I a juror, if the perp had shot or run over the vigilante, what would I do? Not a damn thing. To a reasonable man it just looks like carjacking with lethal force.

          Then you are not a reasonable man. The vigilante witnessed a felony. The vigilante attempted a citizens arrest (risky to him but legal). The perp then shoots the citizen that tried to arrest his felonious ass and you would acquit him of such? Please don’t serve on any jury.

        • ” The vigilante witnessed a felony. “

          Here is one of the big money quotes from the article:

          “in this case, the officers on scene determined Francis would not face any charges.”

          Officers ON THE SCENE. There MUST have been sufficient evidence readily apparent that this was not a “vigilante” going off half-cocked putting himself into a “he-says this, the other guy says that” type of story.

          And let’s stop calling this guy “vigilante.” He wasn’t.

        • @JR,

          Agreed. He was not seeking vigilante justice or to circumvent due process straight to punishment. He was only seeking to capture the criminal for law enforcement. Not a vigilante.

        • @JR @Anonymous

          You are assuming that the hit and run perpetrator could reasonably know that the cop wannabe was not a carjacker, and that the perp actually knew he did something wrong.

          Like I said, when a cop in full uniform coming out of a cruiser saying “you’re under arrest”, then you are under arrest. Period. You dont have to know you did something wrong. You can reasonably assume the cop is not a carjacker. If you come out with no charge filed, you just file a complaint and get money.

          However, in this case, how exactly can the perp be sure he’s not being carjacked? And how do you know that he purposefully, not unknowingly, left the scene of an accident, which makes it even less likely for him to realise that it was an arrest, not carjacking?

          That’s why i dont agree with citizen’s arrest. It burdens everyone with the duty to comply to anyone saying “you are under arrest”. Self defence against carjacking or kidnapping automatically becomes outlawed just because the dindu says that sentence?

          As for the gunpoint on someone not posing a lethal threat, it’s illegal no matter what. Shoot back (if it’s not a cop). Cops get away with it all the time, but that doesnt make it right.

          As for “officers on scene not pressing charges”, maybe they thought it was a commendable act in the whole picture? Plenty of people walk free from cops even though the cops saw something wrong. This one you never know.

    • Seriously? Citzen’s arrest?

      Unless I KNOW you’re a cop, you pull a gun on me playing pooleece, I shoot you in the face, done.

      Is that after you committed a felony?

      • Yes. If i dont know i just commited a crime or i’m not sure the guy is not a threat.

        If i cut you off, walk up to you pointing a gun at you, saying “you just ran over an infant, now surrender your weapon and get your ass in my car”, are you gonna just comply?

  14. Good for him. No guts no glory. We all have to look at ourselves in the mirror. What sucks is looking at yourself the mirror and wishing you had done things different had you not been such a damn coward.

  15. Arguing about this is stupid. We do not know the 100% of the story. Lets just call it a good deed and a good guy with a gun won.

    • Chelsey Monday, July 30, 2012 at 2:24 pm Molly & Sally-I am very much looking forward to your weekly &qosu;Toatt Talk"! Your blog is my daily go-to read and I would love to learn more about the girls behind the amazing blog!

  16. Glad everything worked out in this case. I think Mr. good Samaritan should thank his lucky stars he’s not in jail.

    Stopping a perp is one thing. But if you clear leather in the process, there better be an imminent, credible threat to your life or you’ll be wearing chrome bracelets in short order.

    Generally speaking, if you can get a license plate number, the cops can take care of the rest.

    • “But if you clear leather in the process, there better be an imminent, credible threat to your life or you’ll be wearing chrome bracelets in short order.”

      Um, this story puts lie to your conclusion.

      If you “clear leather,” the totality of circumstances is what matters. The PD and the prosecutor did the right thing in this case: they weighed ALL the evidence and did not charge him.

      There’s a REASON “Bright Line Rules” are few and far between in our Justice System. It’s because every case is different.

      “Imminent” in this case could well be defined as “to the community at large.” The dude he caught was a violent person that had just committed at least attempted murder.

      Check out the case law on the “Fleeing Felon Rule.” It makes for some interesting reading.

      • “this story puts lie to your conclusion.”

        No, this story demonstrates an exception to my conclusion. Apparently the police and prosecutors in this particular jurisdiction decided they have more pressing matters, and were grateful enough for this citizen’s help and good intentions that they gave him a pass.

        Many other places in this country, the outcome is going to be different. Very different.

        • You said this:

          “you’ll be wearing chrome bracelets in short order.”

          That did not happen in this case.

          You rigid statement is thus shown false.

          You cannot say what you said with authority. It does not always happen.

          Dress up your rationalizations however you like.

  17. Y’all probably won’t see me doing something like that given the way the system is stacked against the individual today. That stated, there’s something important about a moral, free society that I think many Americans have forgotten. Peace officers are supposed to be there to augment the citizenry; not to replace it. In a properly functioning free society, individuals would be preventing and stopping most of the crime while peace officers would be serving writs/warrants, investigating complaints, and taking suspects into custody that were already detained at the scene.

    My hat is off to Brandon Francis. Good job!

  18. a Nice France open carrier, Brandon Francis, made a citizen’s arrest on a hit and run suspect. Ohhh…. I must have been dreaming….sorry.
    Silly me, everyone knows that the French Serfs are disarmed for their own safety, so they can carry piss buckets and be good little Piss Serfs.
    Hey, it’s good to be the King!

  19. The only “bad” thing happening in this whole situation is the media’s portrayal of a citizen arrest as not recommended behavior. Shame on those cowards.

    Of course a citizen’s arrest is hazardous, but it should not be discouraged.

    The media celebrates mediocrity and stupidity in all forms 24/7 but the moment someone does the right thing or something that requires courage and good character, all the caution flags roll out.

    • Absolutely.

      It’s part of the cultural ‘dumbing down.’ Program the sheep to be completely passive. Act r Selected regardless of actual DNA.

      Epigenetics … driven by public school, Hollywood and the MSM.

      • Stefan Molyneux talks about r/K selection process on his blog on http://www.freedomainradio.com.
        Also, an author, Jim Penman, interviewed by Stefan, writes about epigenetics and explains how this causes the rise and fall of civilizations in his book, available on Kindle, “Biohistory”. Quite a fascinating read.

  20. The left will spin this that the NRA and 2nd Amendment are turning this country into the wild west and we can’t have that. We can’t have everyone going around playing cop and pointing their guns at people.

  21. Wow, a lot of keyboard commandos on here. What the guy dud is stupid, illegal and he’s lucky it turned out the way it did. You want to play cop join the force.

    • You’re funny. What this “guy dud” was completely with in the law, which, if you had read the posted article, said the police and the AG was not charging him with a crime for making a citizens arrest, which has centuries of common law supporting such an action by a citizen.

      For most of our history, we did not have a paid police force. The expectation was that the citizenry would make the “hue and cry” as they sounded the alarm, as they arrested the bad guy, then they would hold him for the sheriff to come and take the law breaker to jail.

  22. I’m amazed that yo;u182#7&re able to pop the ones on the back of your head by yourself. I can’t imagine how much discomfort you are in. I hope the laser treatments provide you with much relief. Thanks for sharing!

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