Two Citizen's Arrests In Downtown Reykjavík - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Two Citizen’s Arrests In Downtown Reykjavík

Published June 12, 2016

Main photo by
Hlynz/Wikimedia Commons

Bystanders twice in one day apprehended and held people suspected of committing serious crimes until police arrived.

Vísir reports that the first incident happened late Friday, when a man with a newly-purchased axe was allegedly threatening people with it downtown.

While the edge of the axe was covered, bystanders were nonetheless disturbed by his behaviour. Police report that when they arrived at the scene, several people were physically detaining the suspect. He was turned over to authorities, who brought him in for booking.

Later, the same day, a man was suspected of trying to steal a sports bag during a competition held at Laugardal. Once again, bystanders caught and restrained the suspect, who was still in their custody when police arrived.

Citizen’s arrests are fairly uncommon in Iceland, but not unheard of. Those witnessing violence or theft are advised to exercise caution when trying to physically intervene; often times, yelling very loudly and directing the attention of others to the incident can help stop it.

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