Viral Video Allegedly Shows Man Assaulting Teen in Attempt To Make 'Citizen's Arrest'

A video, allegedly showing a 17-year-old girl being assaulted by a man making a "citizen's arrest," has gone viral on TikTok, amassing over 324,000 views, 42,000 likes, and 2,700 comments since it was shared late last month.

Often depicted in film and TV, the actual meaning and requirements of a "citizen's arrest" remain unfamiliar to many. Moreover, the laws regarding them vary state to state and can be open to interpretation—sometimes resulting in instances of dangerous vigilantism, often rooted in racism or other biases.

In November, for example, a jury found three white men guilty of the 2020 murder of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man who was out on a jog. The men believed he was responsible for burglaries in the area and shot him, claiming they were trying to execute a citizen's arrest.

Arbery's murder has since sparked a conversation about the harm of citizen's arrest laws, with many arguing they should be abandoned altogether.

In the recent TikTok video, which was posted by user Steph Marie Dehoog (@stephmariedehoog), viewers seem to have come to similar conclusions about the man's alleged citizen's arrest.

The video footage takes place on a street and shows a man kneeling over a girl, who is laying face-down on the pavement. Someone—it's unclear if it's the victim or someone off-camera—yells that "he has a gun," presumably referring to the man.

The man looks at the camera and yells: "Get out! You are all trespassing! Get out!" He also screams at them to "take a step back."

He continues to restrain the visibly-distressed girl as she screams and cries for help.

"Get him off of me!" she yells. Off-camera, a voice replies: "I can't, he will shoot me, babe."

The brief clip is accompanied by on-screen text that further explains the situation. "The school police is saying this is a citizen arrest," wrote the TikToker, who added that the girl is 17-years-old and "was in her friends condos" [sic] at the time of the incident. When "she tried to leave, he stopped her."

"Choked her [and] dragged her about 15 feet," said the TikToker. "Tried to put her in his car."

She added that the "police said they [can't] do anything" about the case "because [the] school police" is already handling it. "This video is after he couldn't get her in the car," wrote Dehoog in the caption. "Her friend finally pulled out a phone to get as much proof as she [could]."

In the comments section, Dehoog implies that the girl featured in the video is actually her daughter, noting to one commenter: "I'm her mother." She also writes that the video was filmed in Las Vegas, Nevada, and that the man has not been charged for the incident.

According to Dehoog's other comments, her daughter was "sitting on a wall" when the man "approached with a camera." He accused them of trespassing and when they started to leave, "he grabbed [her] daughter [and] got in her face." In response, the teen reportedly threw her cup at him. From there, the rest of the conflict, including the alleged choking and dragging, ensued.

Though the video remains unverified, viewers were distressed by the upsetting footage, and many were stunned that the man's actions were deemed appropriate by school authorities. "Citizens arrest doesn't mean you can drag a person into a car and take them somewhere without consent," wrote @_aubanana_. "That's kidnapping."

"Contact your local FBI agency," advised @freem531.

"Assault, attempted kidnapping, threatening, carrying a weapon, the charges are endless," wrote @imthegarbagemanbro.

Newsweek has reached out to Dehoog for additional comment.

A stock photo of someone in handcuffs. A TikToker recently went viral after sharing footage of her daughter allegedly being assaulted by a man attempting to perform a "citizen's arrest." BrianAJackson/iStock / Getty Images Plus