WICHITA, Kansas — Two teenager who thought they were protecting a 35-year-old woman from a stalker ended up behind bars Monday morning for allegedly threatening a newspaper deliveryman.
Police say the teens, ages 16 and 19, threatened the 53-year-old delivery man with a metal pipe and a BB gun, telling him not to leave the intersection of W. 33rd St. and S. Fern as they called 911.
When officers arrived around 2:30 a.m. Monday morning they let the delivery man go and charged the teens.
“They were able to determine that, in fact, that he was a newspaper delivery person and was not in any way, shape or form stalking the 35-year-old female,” said Lt. Doug Nolte.
The two teenagers now face aggravated assault and possession of paraphernalia charges.
“It’s nice to know people care enough to try to do the right thing but its also kinda scary if youre just the person out delivering the paper,” said Michelle Fellers, a neighbor.
Kansas law allows for “citizen arrests” in limited circumstances. A citizen needs to either see the crime being committed or have probable cause.
“The goal is not for citizens to be out there maknig an arrest on every crime,” said Nolte. “That’s what we’re trained to handle.”
Police encourage citizens who see a crime to call 911 and only step in unless it’s absolutely necessary.