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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 16084
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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Can a retired police officer without any valid badge arrest

Resolved Question:

Can a retired police officer without any valid badge arrest or get involved with a a dispute? He identified himself as an officer. Is that legal?He would not let me see any id that said he was an officer. He called me the b word and told me to shut up. I am a 52 yr. old lady that has one speeding ticket in my life. I have never been treated to disrespectfully XXXXX XXXXX life. This happened in Texas
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 10 months ago.
Hello,

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am a criminal lawyer.

A retired policeman is a private citizen. But a private citizen in Texas has the right to make a citizen's arrest if he witnesses a felony offense or a breach of the public order.

Here's the statute from the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure:

Art. 14.01. [212] [259] [247] OFFENSE WITHIN VIEW.


(a) A peace officer or any other person, may, without a warrant, arrest an
offender when the offense is committed in his presence or within his
view,
if the offense is one classed as a felony or as an offense
against the public peace
.

There is Texas case law that says that a trespass can be a breach of the peace. If you wish to fight your case, you can challenge the former officer's right to arrest you, But if he witnessed the incident involved and chose to intercede, you may have a better case against him in civil court -- if he used force against you, for example, or detained you unreasonably -- than in criminal.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

This incident took place in a Randall's store. I use to work for Randall's as a secret shopper. I went to customer service. The women working would not even acknowledge me. After 15 minutes they started waiting on someone else. I asked to speak to a manager. I was explaining the situation and asking what management was going to do about it when this man came up called me and called me several names. I asked management if they were going to let this man speak to me like that in their store. At that point I asked for the police to be called. They said no. I left the area and called them myself. I ended up with a trees spas. I was outside not talking with anyone.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 10 months ago.
Hi,

This sounds as if you were arrested by the police. You were free to leave the store, which you did, and you hung around because you'd called the police. I assume it was they who wrote you up the ticket.

The role of the retired cop wasn't a citizen's arrest. He simply inserted himself into a situation which was none of his business because he likely thought you were giving the employee too hard a time. Can he do that? Sure, people do it all the time. It's embarrassing and the store should have been more responsive to your needs, but the man did not behave criminally.

You need to write to Corporate and make a complaint about the way you were treated. At the least they owe you an apology. You want to run it by your lawyer though after it's written so that any admissions you make in the complaint report don't impact negatively on your case.
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 16084
Experience: Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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