At the Place Station Hotel two groups of men with lots of personal baggage and strange motives were assembled. Group A consisted of property brokers and dealmakers selling purloined property. Group B consisted of O.J. Simpson along with men helping him recover stolen property and detain a few criminal suspects. Add to Simpson’s group a peculiar insider, and apparent agent provocateur with a tape recorder with his own moneymaking agenda. None of these men are sympathetic figures by any means.
This strange story may yet involve two off-duty cops that were spotted on Palace Station security video. We can count on stranger details to emerge as this tale unravels.
My not so simple legal question is, did Simpson’s group have the legal power to resort to self-help and citizen’s arrest?
The event ended without anyone being hurt in any way. The hot property brokers apparently chose to return the property to Simpson’s group. Did the Simpson group decline to make the citizen’s arrest because they felt the matter was peacefully resolved?
Las Vegas Authorities have moved forward with an Armed Robbery theory that sounds valid on its face until you begin examining the powers citizens were given by law to make arrests and keep the peace. It does seem that Armed Robbery charges and 30-year prison terms are an over-reaction to the reality of the event. `
As I raise this relevant issue I’m not suggesting this was a smart move on the part of Simpson’s posse. Involving authorities and avoiding the conflict was the smart way to proceed. Nobody will ever accuse anyone in either group of being smart.