Citizen's arrest in West Jordan lands 2 men in jail

Published: Thursday, Sept. 8 2011 12:01 p.m. MDT

WEST JORDAN — A man who thought he was doing the right thing by making a citizen's arrest of a suspected child molester, was arrested himself for investigation of aggravated kidnapping.

The mother whose children were allegedly abused says 24-year-old Brett Adams should be honored for getting an alleged child molester off the street.

But police say what Adams did goes beyond what the law allows.

On Tuesday, Adams met with Kasey Beatty, 24, in the parking lot of a West Jordan store.

One of Adams' acquaintances told him that Beatty had molested one or more of her children, said West Jordan Police Sgt. Drew Sanders.

The mother, who asked not to be identified to protect her two young children, was with Adams in the parking lot. She said they had arranged a meeting with Beatty.

"We decided to talk to him first. We asked him, 'Do you know why we're here?'" she said.

That's when Beatty "started getting aggressive," the mother said, and moved as if he were going to attack her.

Adams, a former Marine, according to the mother, grabbed a zip tie from his waistband.

"Brett told (Beatty) he was being arrested and had him place his hands behind his back and Brett put zip ties on him," according to a Salt Lake County Jail report.

Adams did not represent himself as a police officer during the arrest, Sanders said.

During the arrest, the booking report states, Adams had his hand on a gun that was visibly sticking out of his waistband. The mother disputes the report, however, saying Adams has always carried an open weapon and at no time during the confrontation placed his hand on it.

Adams then drove Beatty to the West Jordan police station.

Rather than just dropping off Beatty at the police station and leaving, however, Adams was also arrested.

"Just because someone has a warrant or you feel an alleged crime occurred, doesn't mean you can go take him into custody," Sanders said.

Adams was arrested for investigation of aggravated kidnapping.

While there is a provision in the Utah Code Book that allows for citizens' arrests, Sanders said the statute requires that the alleged crime has to occur in the presence of the person making the arrest.

For example, Sanders said, if a person sees someone run out of a store with merchandise they didn't pay for, they could be justified in making an arrest. In Adams' case, Sanders said the alleged crime that was committed did not happen on that day, and Adams only found out about it second hand.

The mother said Adams did not kidnap Beatty.

"If I was going to kidnap him, I would have beat the crap out of him before we got down (to the police station)," she said.

Sanders said police were also concerned that they were never contacted prior to the arrest and that Adams had a gun with him during the confrontation.

Asked why she didn't call police first and have them meet with everyone in the parking lot, the mother said she was too stressed from the news of finding out about the alleged abuse.

"Honestly, no, I didn't think about that," she said. "I've learned that wasn't necessarily the correct way."

Beatty was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail by Murray police for investigation of three counts of sodomy on a child.

The mother said she will now fight hard to have any potential charges against Adams dropped, and to have Beatty fully prosecuted.

"I'm going to fight this to fullest," she said.

As of Thursday afternoon, the Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office had not filed charges on either man.

Sanders said rather than making a citizen's arrest, police recommend the public act as witnesses.

"There's a strong potential it could end in trouble," he said.

The person being arrested could turn on the person making the arrest, Sanders said. Or the person being arrested might be injured, which could come back against the person making the arrest.

E-mail: preavy@desnews.com

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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