If two adults set out to pursue a child that didn't do anything wrong but was in the company of other children one of of whom may have done something, and the child flees and in being pursued trips and falls and injures himself, are the adults criminally or civilly liable? For this question, I have in mind the situation that can be seen in this video clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5f5G6sUVaXE

  • Surely the crime is tackling the child. That would be assault, or actual bodily harm (depending where the injuries were sustained) in the UK.
    – Dave
    Oct 13, 2021 at 9:29
  • Note that the partial surveillance video was sent to the press by the defense. We don't know what else the prosecution has for evidence. Oct 13, 2021 at 17:46
  • I suspect the charges might have been dropped though, since this news is from Nov 2020 and I can't find any press follow-up. Oct 13, 2021 at 17:59
  • This question is asking what law applies in a specific situation. It is not asking what do do, or what options a party has. There is no indication that the poster is in any way involved in the situation. This is not a request for specific legal advice under this site's policy, and should not be closed as such. Oct 13, 2021 at 18:00
  • I've tagged with "children" since the story says "Napoli and Gambella are both charged with endangering the welfare of a child, plus a reckless driving charge for Napoli." Oct 13, 2021 at 18:07

1 Answer 1


If the pursuit is unlawful (which it almost always is except for police) and the pursued suffers harm in fleeing from the pursuer, then the pursuer is responsible both criminally and civilly.

Being pursued would put a person in fear of harm: that’s the criteria for assault so the act of pursuing someone without lawful cause is a crime. Self-defence ceases to be a defence when the other person is running away - even if they are carrying your TV. You can use reasonable force to effect an arrest but a pursuit is not likely to be reasonable if it is of any significant distance or involves vehicles. Police pursuits are strictly limited and police have been successfully sued when they exceed those limits and harm comes to the pursued.

If the pursed dies, pursuers can and have been convicted of murder or manslaughter.

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