No laws against citizen's arrests after new video surfaces in Md.

New video released of a Maryland liquor store owner helping to arrest a man in front of his business in Largo.

PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, MD. (WUSA9) - New video shows a Maryland liquor store owner helping to arrest a man in front of his business in Largo.

It is the second video that we know of that shows Jay Kim detaining someone inside or near his store. 

People who live in the area are ticked off and said the owner is taking things too far. 

Some of them believe Kim is taking the law into his own hands.

Assault charges were dropped against the owner of Largo Liquors after WUSA9 reported about one incident video surfaced in September.

It showed Kim and other employees cuffing and detaining a customer after he knocked some items off the counter.

Community members protested for weeks and started a petition to get the store shut down.

Nearly six thousand people have signed and shared their own experiences.

The latest video that seemed to show Kim chasing a man standing outside of his store even though police were already there.

He appeared to later be seen helping officers once the man was already on the ground.

Retired DC police officer Julius Hunter said people in Maryland are allowed to make a citizen’s arrests.

“If a crime is committed in your presence and there is not a law enforcement officer present, you can actually detain the person until the law enforcement officer gets there,” Hunter explained.

Local police department documents showed that you can make a citizen’s arrest if you witness a felony, if someone is acting disorderly or dangerous to disturb the peace, or if someone is stealing from your property.

There is currently no law about citizen’s arrests in the State of Maryland, but there are some court cases that address the issue, according to a spokesperson from the Prince Georges County State's Attorney's Office.

However, Hunter warns arrests like these could be dangerous and open these so-called ‘peace officers’ up to charges and lawsuits.

“You may think it was a crime, but it might not have actually been a crime and you detained the person,” Hunter said. “You could also be charged with kidnapping or false detainment or things if that nature.”

In his professional opinion, Hunter would not typically recommend citizen’s arrests.

“No. But there are some instances where I think that you probably really do need to get involved as a private citizen,” he said.

Kim's attorney said it is not unusual for situations like this to happen inside of liquor stores.

He said the way his client reacted was appropriate and justified. 

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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