Seen this before? We have
On my way back from a photo assignment this summer, I was stopped at the traffic light at Ski Run Boulevard and Highway 50. I noticed a female motorist in front of me flicking ashes from her cigarette onto the pavement outside. I grabbed my camera and put on my telephoto lens and began to photograph her as she continued to flick hot ashes out her window.
She threw her cigarette out the driver’s window and into the street. It landed a couple of feet from her Toyota Highlander. I quickly took a picture of the cigarette in the street next to her vehicle and a picture of her Nevada “Lake Tahoe” license plate. The light turned green and she sped off. With my photographic evidence I thought I might be able to make a citizen’s arrest.
Back at the Tribune office, I called police dispatch and told them what happened. About 20 minutes later, a South Lake Tahoe police officer arrived at the Tribune, and with photographic evidence in my hand, I told him what I saw. He said the photographic evidence could not be used for an arrest. He then informed me that since the vehicle was registered to a male and not a female, who I saw driving, the vehicle would have to be located and I would have to do a field identification.
And if an arrest was made, I would have to appear in court to identify the person again. He suggested that if I see a similar incident in the future, to call 911 and follow the vehicle until an officer arrives on the scene. Then a citizens arrest could be made.