It’s exactly the sort of scene you expect to come out of Hollywood: crime, violence, retributive justice, and indie darling Jena Malone performing a citizen’s arrest. Only it’s not an action movie starring Jena Malone, it’s literally a local news clip from Hollywood, the neighborhood, featuring actual-person, Jena Malone. On April 5, NBC 4 Los Angeles aired a two-minute segment about a group of strangers who chased down and beat up a man who they witnessed physically abusing a small, neglected-looking dog. NBC interviews one of the people who chased down the man, and that person is unmistakably Hunger Games and Pride & Prejudice actress Jena Malone. “I pulled over and started chasing him,” she says, “because that’s absolutely not okay.” (Malone was not one of the people filmed physically assaulting the man.)
The reporter doesn’t seem to realize whom he’s speaking to, other than someone who takes “animal rescue” as literally as possible. The men who beat up the unidentified abuser say they were “conducting a citizen’s arrest” and holding him down until police arrived. A lawyer tells NBC that a legal case can be made against the citizen’s arresters for continuing to pummel the man for a full minute after he was already subdued. Then again, that’s what professional arresters do, too.
On Twitter, Malone gave more context, writing, “I yelled at him to stop from my car but he wouldn’t. I got out of my car to try and get the dog but he started running. […] So I started chasing him.” Five men followed her and took over chasing the man, so Malone returned to her car and drove back “to make sure that dog was going to be cared for.” After an emergency animal-hospital visit, it was reunited with its real owner (it had been missing for a week) and Malone learned the pup’s name: Champion. She also shared a link to a GoFundMe to cover $5,000 of the survivor’s surgery costs. She spotted the pup a hundred bones.