Attorney and CNN legal analyst Danny Cevallos returned to the Wrap Up Show on Friday and shared his take on Stern Show staffer Brent Hatley’s obsession with someday making a citizen’s arrest.
Brent told Howard on Wednesday that he had recently been patrolling the streets of New York, hoping to stumble across a crime-in-progress and make a citizen's arrest. As listeners will remember, he even said he was looking into a possible dog-sharing ring conspiracy.
Wrap Up Show co-hosts Jon Hein and Gary Dell'Abate asked Danny to dig into the legality of citizen's arrests. “Can Brent do something like that, Danny?” Jon wondered. “Is there any precedent for this?”
“He actually can,” Danny responded. “It’s so fascinating to me because citizen's arrest should come up way more often than they actually do."
Danny even offered up a hypothetical situation in which "Citizen Hatley" could make a bonafide bust. “There has always been what's called 'the shopkeeper's privilege.'" he said. "If Brent owns a candy store and Gary comes in and steals M&M's, then Brent can hold him until the police arrives—that’s his privilege."
However, as Danny explained it, there are still massive differences between the arrests police officers make and those made by civilians like Brent. “Police can operate on something somebody else tells them, but Brent cannot act as an investigator ... I think that [with] citizen's arrests you have to actually observe the crime in [your] presence,” he said.
Eventually the discussion turned toward whether Citizen Hatley would even be able to stop a crime in progress or successfully detain someone during an arrest. Wrap Up Show co-host Rahsaan Rogers wasn't optimistic, but Danny liked Brent's chances. "Brent's got that Marine Corps bearing, I bet if it came up ... he would make it sound like it's serious business," Danny concluded.