Karl "Jack" Frost admits he tried to make a citizen's arrest of a man who was jogging in a bike lane, but that Gilbert police got most of the story wrong.
Frost, 47, says the main notion he wants to dispel is that he was in illegal possession of a .40-caliber Glock because of a supposed previous felony arrest. In fact, he says, he has a state-issued concealed-carry permit and also just became a U.S. citizen last year -- both of which would not be true if he was a convicted felon.
Describing himself as a 14-year veteran of London's Metropolitan police force, Frost says he was within his rights to detain the 52-year-old jogger because the man had shoved him without provocation.
Gilbert police deliberately released the info about an alleged felony arrest "in a tainted fashion," Frost says in his British accent. "They know this is gonna be a lawsuit."
A phone call to Gilbert police wasn't immediately returned on Friday afternoon.
Yesterday, the police department issued a news release containing several incidents, one of which was the bicyclist-on-jogger altercation. According to that release, Frost called police dispatch and told them he was making a citizen's arrest of a man who had been jogging in a bike lane.
Gilbert Sergeant Bill Balafas told New Times yesterday that bike lanes are for the exclusive use of bicycles -- but that jogging in one is a civil offense. To make a legal citizen's arrest, the suspect has to be suspected of a breach of public peace, and jogging in a bike lane doesn't qualify, Balafas said.
However, Frost maintains the story involved more than that.
He says he was biking to work at about 7:30 a.m. along Islands Drive West near Warner Road when he had to stop because the jogger was in his way, and that vehicle traffic prevented from immediately going around the man.
The jogger, who's name wasn't released, yelled at him, "Are you blind?" and shoved him. Frost says he and his $6,000 bicycle nearly fell over.
Frost says he tried to make a citizen's arrest over a suspected assault, not because the man was in a bike lane. He disputes Gilbert PD's account that he told dispatch he was making the arrest because of the bike lane, and says he specifically mentioned the "assault."
"I got ahold of him and I called 911," Frost says. "He tries to get away. I held his arm until police showed up."
Police weren't impressed with the ex-cop's actions. They arrested Frost and are seeking charges of unlawful imprisonment, disorderly conduct and assault. They seized Frost's Glock, which he hadn't pulled out during the altercation. Cops also erased an audio recording Frost had made of the incident, Frost says.
Frost was booked into jail and later released.
He says he would do the same thing again. He teaches security-guard classes and knows how to properly detain somehow, he explains.
"There wasn't a mark on him," Frost says about the jogger.
He doesn't know why Gilbert PD released information that he might be a felon who isn't legally allowed to own a firearm. Frost showed his CCW card to Channel 3 News (KTVK-TV) last night, apparently proving that he was not a prohibited possessor.
A witness reportedly thought Frost was being aggressive to the jogger. No police report has been released yet, but it'll be interesting to hear the jogger's point of view.
Our take: Citizen's arrests just don't seem like a good idea except under extreme circumstances. Too much could go wrong.