New York Man Finds Four Vandals Destroying Home, Forces Them Into Closet Until Police Arrives . . . And Then Arrested For Endangering The Vandals

180px-Handcuffs01_2003-06-02Jesse R. Daniels, age 53, has a right to be a bit confused. He heard vandals destroying his father-in-law’s house that they were remodeling next door in the Village of Clyde. He told his wife to call police and he ran over and confronted the intruders. He found four young boys with hammers who destroyed the interior and forced them into a closet until police arrived. The parents of the vandals insisted on charging Daniels who was arraigned last week on charges of endangering the young boys who caused an estimated $50,000 in damage to the home.

One of the boys reportedly was upset because Daniels’ wife yelled at them that morning to stay out of their yard. Daniels says that one of the boys said that his mother told them to come over in retaliation, though that is not in the police report. They threw paint on the walls, broke cupboards and fixtures, and punched holes in the walls before Daniels stopped them.

The four boys are all related and aged 8 and 10. The words “cunt” and “bitch” were painted on the walls — believed to be references to Daniels’ wife for yelling at them.

Daniels was charged with four counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child. His charge is based on threatening the boys with a hammer if they tried to get out before the police arrived. He did not strike any kid. The parents of the vandals reportedly admitted that they trashed the house but insisted on Daniels being charged. The kids face charges of Felony Burglary in the 2nd Degree and Felony Criminal Mischief in the 2nd Degree.

The thing I find curious about this charge is that any homeowner would have to threaten vandals to some degree to get them to remain in a home waiting for police.  Presumably, he could have grabbed them against their will and exercised some physical force.  While you cannot protect property with lethal force or force calculated to due serious bodily harm, homeowners are allowed to defend their property and themselves.  In this case, it is unlikely that these vandals would simply stand around if Daniels said “I have a hammer, but I am not going to use it.”

What do you think is the appropriate standard in such cases?

Source: Wayne Times

42 thoughts on “New York Man Finds Four Vandals Destroying Home, Forces Them Into Closet Until Police Arrives . . . And Then Arrested For Endangering The Vandals”

  1. My elderly neighbor is off his rocker and forbidden to tresspass on my property due to a harassment complaint. The issues will take time to resolve (court mediation has to come first, and its delayed, county ordinance.) He slashed my tires but I didnt see it happen, I am sure, and he also knock on my door (tresspassing) and say nasty name and look at your poor tires. SO, if he does it again, and I know he has a heart condition, and I am hiding in the bushes and see him, can I detain him? What if he has a heart attack as he struggles to escape my grasp. How does a citizens arrest protect me, if at all. Comments or knowledge of the law (NJ)? Authorities in many places all say consult a lawyer, which I cannot afford. TY.

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  3. You say what… The parents ought to be charged with child endangerment…. After all hey are between 8 and 10…..they need to be watched…..

  4. This is my neck of the woods. This guy Jessie now has a lawyer. Yesterday he spoke on a local radio station. When he entered the kids did not see him. He grabbed a hammer from one, while the boy was in the middle of a swing. “STOP IT what are you doing. drop the hammers”. They were near a bedroom closet. The boys were stunned (knew they were caught.) “Get into the closet. They got in it. Jessie held the door closed. They did attempt to force it open. “Why are you doing this, you know me” One of the boys …(they were scared), said, “My mother told us to trash the place” …… Jessie said the kid said it 4 times, they were scared …and he believes that statement. They were covered in paint, lacquer and everything else. … Here’s a good one, Jessie says there were 17 struck matches in the house. (his statement) WOW! if that is true, if the kids were lighting matches Jessie should be given a medal for preventing a tragedy. Paint and lacquer covered boys should not be near fire. The cop arrives , Jessie opened the door, the cop took the boys home. Two days later they came back and arrested Jessie. SHEESH. Now that Jessie has a lawyer he is not talking on the radio today. Thanks A lot you lawyers!!!! I had a chance to play Nancy Grace on the JT. Blog, and YOUSE GUYS RUIN IT FOR ME !!!!!
    OH the Fame and Fortune I could have found, Crap, now I gotta go to work!!! :o)

  5. A rare, but appropriate result, was your case bettykath.

    Our current state of affairs in this country is a SYG for bad faith players;
    and hope to survive it all – for the victim/ innocents.

  6. The charges against him may be dismissed but he has go thru the process. If the kids still maintain that a parent told them to retaliate, I think that parent should also be charged. And, the parents should be responsible for full restitution.

    I was burgled and damage was done by three kids from the neighborhood – 10,11,12. They also broke into 2 or 3 other places. The kids were identified. I had hundreds of dollars worth of damage and my place had the least amount of damage. First step was apologies. I got one from each kid in turn, escorted by his dad, and I had clean-up helpers, one at a time. One boy cleaned up the broken glass and vacuumed. Another cleaned out the refrigerator that was broken due to the vandalism and wasn’t fixed for some time. The third got to clean out the shower that was trashed with all sorts of stuff from the refrigerator (chocolate syrup, eggs, etc). I’d have settled for restitution after the cleanup but the other victims insisted on going to court so I went along with it. The boys’ parents made full restitution. I think the restitution demand was to the kids but the parents did the paying. The ring leader spent several months in a facility. He’s back and seems to be behaving himself. One moved away. The third I see on occasion and seems to be behaving. Biggest difference with this story is that the parents in my case were all over these kids.

    1. I recall that I sassed a neighborhood woman once. I can tell you that never happened again! She called my home, and I could not sit for quite awhile. It made a positive impression on me and I modified my behavior to avoid such a thing again.

  7. If thats how its going to be then all citizens should shoot and kill all criminals. No more liberal bull right is right and wrong is wrong. Prison population would thin out less crime real criminals could be sent to prison and have room and serve full time. Citizens could then continue stopping all drug trade maybe even find time to go to DC and take all Reps. to the woodshed for a good oldfashioned ass whippen. If that doesnt do it tha ass ****** leave only one avenue and that is all out war every citizen armrd to kill until we get this crap back where it is true and honost and that means corps. being taken down the fed. ENDED all the muck gumming up what can be. Its up to them but we the people must exert pressure until they change or we go for the win. Money is the root of all evil just like it always was has been and always will be. Evil rotten lying traitors. Simple fact. Steve Chase look for the truth find the truth and K.I.S.S. Keep it simple stupid. Thanks all. Peace Love Patriot.

  8. “This man wanted the vandals in hand for the police and that’s totally understandable.”
    It is understandable.
    Was he breaking the law by detaining them?

    What if they and their parents denied everything?

    I think the cops can fingerprint minors – even if their parents object. ??
    Their prints would be all over the tools that they used to do the damage.

    Given estimated damages of $50,000 would there not be a good case to pressure for a proper inverstigation.

  9. Get the dogpac to poop in the vandals’ yard. Then the prosecutor’s yard. And if a judge does not throw out the case toute suite then the judge’s yard.

  10. Lotta:

    That’s exactly what would have happened if the man had released these boys.

  11. SlingTrebuchet: “What was the point in detaining them?”

    Because after they all ran home to their respective yards (obviously their parents did not know where they were or what they were doing) when the police and the homeowner show up the kids just say ‘nope, wasn’t me, I was in my yard/garage/side of the house etc etc. That’s exactly what happened to me when a bunch of kids we knew vandalized our garage. The parents were all like, ‘my kid wouldn’t do anything like that, there has to be a mistake.’ The police just shrugged and said there wasn’t anything they could do. This man wanted the vandals in hand for the police and that’s totally understandable.

    1. The legal catch here, I think, is that he shouldn’t have detained the 2 punks.
      He could use any legal means to defend his property, but once the two young miscreants had manifested an intent to leave, then the owner could not have legally detained them. (known as “false imprisonment”)

      1. Michael, While I do not know NYlaw, in most jurisdictions there is the shopkeepers law which allows for a private party to detain a suspect for the police. Given the fact of this case, there is no way that any judge should have allowed this arrest to take place. The homeowner had no reasonable alternative, and it could also be construed as a citizens arrest. The person should have demanded that the cop enforce that arrest of his. Then there would be no question as to this case.

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