Attorney feels owner in salon fight may have made unlawful citizen's arrest

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Cellphone video of a scuffle in a Cleveland nail salon between an irate customer and the owner has drawn a considerable amount of attention online.

The fight erupted inside of an Ohio City nail salon called Fantasy Nails. Cleveland police say customer Adeshola Mohom went into Fantasy Nails complaining about customer service, and then assaulted a customer and the owner after he tried to make her leave.

Cleveland 19 wanted to know whether owner Ty Dang make the right move when he decided to make a citizen's arrest by holding the woman involved until police arrived.

Dang wants people to see his surveillance video, which shows what happened before the whole thing started.

"As a matter of law, you don't have the right to detain. Those powers are vested in law enforcement," said civil rights attorney Avery Friedman. "A citizen's arrest is more fiction than anything else."

Friedman said a person can get sued for taking such action. He calls it vigilantism.

"The smart thing to do when you see unlawful activity going on -- and the example here they knew who the person was, they knew how to get a hold of her, but they decided to use their own force instead of using law enforcement. That's a dangerous thing to do," he said.

Friedman said this could be considered kidnapping or unlawful detainment by a citizen.

"At the end of the day, it's just going to create bigger problems," Friedman said.

Dang said he was just trying to keep her out of harm's way, keep her safe, and keep others in the salon safe. Dang says he's received death threats and people are threatening to boycott his business. He wishes this never happened and that he had let police handle the situation.

No charges have been filed.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Since this story first ran on Thursday night, Cleveland 19 has received differing opinions from local attorneys.

Defense attorney Susan Moran says citizen's arrest is not illegal in Ohio, however it can be problematic if people use it. They most likely will not be prosecuted, but they could face a kidnapping charge if there is an error in judgement.

Moran says citizen's arrest falls under common law and is not codified in Ohio.

Another local attorney pointed out that there may be a difference between what a citizen makes the arrest for -- whether it is a misdemeanor or a felony. He tells Cleveland 19 that a citizen may arrest someone who is guilty of committing a felony until a warrant can be obtained.

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