An altercation between a Louis Munoz and Fullerton College Campus Safety Officer Dino Skokos has raised many questions including, when does Fullerton Police Department get involved with safety at Fullerton College?
Munoz was approached by Skokos on Thursday Oct. 13 because he was allegedly breaking the Statewide Smoke-Free Entryway Law, AB 846.
The law prohibits smoking within 20 feet of a main entrance or exit of a public building and offenders can face a $100 fine for this misdemeanor.
The conversation between the two men quickly turned violent when Skokos tried to detain Munoz after he refused to provide Skokos with proper ID, as seen in video footage provided by witnesses.
Eventually Fullerton PD was called to the scene where they ticketed Munoz for the misdemeanor offense.
One question that has sparked controversy is whether or not Skokos had the right to detain Munoz for the infraction?
“Every citizen has the right to detain an individual if they have committed a crime,” Sgt. Jon Radus, public information officer, Fullerton PD, said.
This is true, according to California penal code 837:
A private person may arrest another:
1. For a public offense committed or attempted in his presence.
2. When the person arrested has committed a felony, although not in his presence.
3. When a felony has been in fact committed, and he has reasonable cause for believing the person arrested to have committed it.
“Say you are walking down the street and somebody punches you in the face and we didn’t witness it, you have the right to detain that person under the law,” Sgt. Radus said, “once we arrive you have the right to press charges.”
In the majority of misdemeanor cases the person being detained is ticketed for the infraction and sent on there way.
In regards to the recent campus incident, Fullerton PD responds to these calls just like any other crime that may be committed around the city.
“If you call us, we’ll be there,” Radus said.