CHICO, Calif. – In attorney Rob Berry’s letter to city leaders, he claims to have seen elected officials aid in moving some homeless and their belongings to other parks.
Spots where homeless encampments used to be, like Bidwell Park, are now empty.
Berry claims in his letter that he witnessed City Councilman Scott Huber help the homeless move personal items to another park.
Huber admits he did it but said the council should have done more to help those with nowhere to go.
“This city council has forced people, including Camp Fire survivors, into neighborhoods, into alleys, into the downtown, without giving them an alternative place to go,” Huber said. “So, I was just trying to help make sure that they could get out of where they were and had somewhere to go.”
Berry claims Hubert is breaking the law and said he will “engage in and encourage the exercise of citizen arrest rights against any parties observed to violate these laws.”
Berry said the best outcome would be for people who are engaged to stop.
“For the people engaged in this contact just to simply stop it,” Berry said. “That would be the best outcome and that’s what I hope for. What I wanted to happen was exactly what did happen which is that the city manager, city attorney and chief of police were given a heads up as to the consequences of these actions. I outlined what my options would be as a private citizen to the effect of citizens arrest. So, as far as what my plans go, I don’t know. I’m waiting to see what happens next I suppose.”
District Attorney Mike Ramsey explained to us the ins and outs of a citizen’s arrest.
He said the person exercising the arrest must be right in their claim, otherwise, they could be charged with false arrest.
In this case, Ramsey said only if Huber and others physically helped set up an encampment, that would be in violation of the law.
Attorney Rob Berry said that he does not recommend that anybody do anything that is illegal.
The Chico Police Department sent out a statement saying if a citizen sees a crime to contact law enforcement immediately and avoid taking matters into their own hands.
We checked and so far found no evidence Huber helped set up an encampment but only helped move items from one park to another which is not against the law.