#039;Citizens arrest#039; lands man behind bars #045; twice
BURLINGTON - A West Virginia man was arraigned Friday on charges stemming from what the victim refers to as a "citizens arrest" and what Lawrence County Sheriff Tim Sexton contends was an ill-advised citizen detention.
Donald Porter Jr., 29, of Guyandotte, W.Va., remained in the Lawrence County Jail Monday under a $3,000 cash bond on misdemeanor charges of theft and criminal trespassing. He was arrested by sheriff's deputies in the early morning hours of April 2
outside a Burlington residence.
According to the sheriff's office report, the homeowners had heard a noise and determined from their security cameras that someone was in their vehicle parked outside their house. The male homeowner allegedly caught and detained Porter until deputies arrived.
"I restrained the subject with wire ties," the victim wrote in his report. "I telephoned a neighbor… who provided back up (until deputies arrived)."
Porter was taken to jail and later released on bond before authorities realized he was not entitled to bond since he was also wanted on
other charges in West Virginia. Porter was later apprehended a second time and remains in the Lawrence County Jail. Lawrence County Municipal Court Judge Donald Capper has scheduled an April 29 pretrial conference.
Porter was supposed to have been arraigned in municipal court April 11 but failed to show up.
Sexton said while the idea of apprehending the person who is committing a crime against you may sound satisfying, it can be dangerous.
"I don't suggest that people go out and confront people breaking into their homes," Sexton said. "Fortunately, this incident ended with no one hurt. My suggestion is that anytime an incident occurs, people call the sheriff's office. We just don't recommend you go out and confront people."