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  • Would-be bounty hunters nab innocent woman in Va.

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...type=printable

    Would-be bounty hunters nab innocent woman in Va.

    Friday, October 23, 2009

    (10-23) 09:33 PDT Bristol, Va. (AP) --

    Police in Virginia say three would-be bounty hunters face charges after they impersonated drug task force agents and nabbed the wrong woman.

    The innocent woman was mistaken for a suspect who had skipped bond. Bristol police say three people who hoped to collect a reward from a bail bondsman handcuffed the woman and sexually assaulted her during a strip search Oct. 9.

    Sgt. Steven Crawford says the three face charges of abduction, robbery, impersonating a law enforcement officer, conspiracy and sexual battery.

    Two of the suspects have been arrested, and police are searching for the third. A fourth person has been charged as an accessory.

    The innocent woman caught by the suspects was taken to a lockup but let go when jailers quickly realized she wasn't the person wanted for skipping bond.
    _____________
    "Corruptisima republica plurimae leges."

    "The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws."
    - Cornelius Tacitus

  • #2
    Question:

    Say the guys got everything RIGHT and no sexual battery. However they still impersonated a drug task force to make the arrest. Would they still be in trouble?

    A bounty hunter can't go banging on doors saying "POLICE OPEN UP". Correct?

    Here's another Hypothetical:
    Someone is banging on the door (identifying themselves as police) trying to bring me in and they are bounty hunters. I am the wrong person they are looking for. I do NOT know what is going on.

    I look through a crack in the window and see three guys that are obviouly NOT LEO's but have restraining devices in hand and big dangrous euipment with them.

    There is a 4 year old my brother and his wife in the house with me. We call 911.

    They proceed with forced entry and I proceed to unload my 45 through the window killing the first one with a shot to the head. The others flee and call police.

    I'm guessing here things are going to get sticky for me in the short term, but in the end I'm going to get off and they are going to get arrested and eventually charged for their buddies murder.

    I know, I'm pushing my luck with my analysis, but it could have happened if those guys knocked on my door.
    _____________
    "Corruptisima republica plurimae leges."

    "The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws."
    - Cornelius Tacitus

    Comment


    • #3
      Make them show you their police ID. All Cops need to carry this with their badge. Most impersonators won't go through the trouble and don't know what the contents are. If you are that paranoid call 911 and verify the officers name.

      Comment


      • #4
        Bounty hunters are allowed to Strip Search?

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm so glad we don't have "bounty hunters" in my state.
          All Gave Some - Some Gave All

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          • #6
            Originally posted by SCV-Sop View Post
            Question:

            Say the guys got everything RIGHT and no sexual battery. However they still impersonated a drug task force to make the arrest. Would they still be in trouble?

            A bounty hunter can't go banging on doors saying "POLICE OPEN UP". Correct?
            I am a Bail Enforcement Agent. No! you cannot ever impersonate a sworn police officer. We also can't impersonate doctors, lawyers, or government agents. Basically we can impersonate anyone or anything which is "not" regulated by the federal, state, or local government.

            Originally posted by SCV-Sop View Post
            Question:
            Here's another Hypothetical:
            Someone is banging on the door (identifying themselves as police) trying to bring me in and they are bounty hunters. I am the wrong person they are looking for. I do NOT know what is going on.

            I look through a crack in the window and see three guys that are obviouly NOT LEO's but have restraining devices in hand and big dangrous euipment with them.

            There is a 4 year old my brother and his wife in the house with me. We call 911.

            They proceed with forced entry and I proceed to unload my 45 through the window killing the first one with a shot to the head. The others flee and call police.

            I'm guessing here things are going to get sticky for me in the short term, but in the end I'm going to get off and they are going to get arrested and eventually charged for their buddies murder.

            I know, I'm pushing my luck with my analysis, but it could have happened if those guys knocked on my door.
            This depends on the state. In Texas you can shoot them even if they are police and your the wrong person according to the Texas Supreme court.

            Most people and virtually every police officer I have come across don't understand Bail Bonds or Bail Enforcement. Federal law upheld by the supreme court and most state laws allow Bail enforcement to enter any dwelling to apprehend their fugitive. This is the same authority which the Sheriff has to apprehend a fugutive who has escaped from jail or prison.

            So if our defendant is in your house or we had reasonable cause to believe he was you would probably be looking at a murder charge. I am not lawyer but legally they have the right to make entry. If they are wrong you have the legal right to file civil suit against them.

            I personally would expect you to shoot if I did not identify myself properly. In my state there are clear laws on notification of police and what we must wear to identify ourselves when making a planned forced entry. Each state will have a different outcome I am sure.

            Before anyone jumps my case most bail enforcement is professional and that is why most police have no idea they have made an arrest. In my state it's 95% of all FTA warrants are recovered by Bail Enforcement Agents. We are also considered to be a part of the legal system by the legislature but we are not at all sworn LEO. Our authority is not subject to LEO regulation and LEO does not have to assist us. We do however try to work with LEO as there are idiots like these guys who make us all look bad.

            FEDERAL STATUTE 83 US 366
            In accordance with the said statute, when bail is given, the principal is regarded as delivered to the custody of his sureties. Their dominion is a continuance of the original imprisonment. Whenever they choose to do so, they may seize him and deliver him up in their discharge; and if that cannot be done at once, they may imprison him until it can be done. They may exercise their rights in person or by agent. They may pursue him into another State; may arrest him on the Sabbath; and, if necessary, may break and enter his or another's house for that purpose. The seizure is not made by virtue of new process. None is needed. It is likened to the re arrest by the sheriff of an escaping prisoner.


            U.S. Supreme Court 1873, Taylor v. Taintor, 16 Wall. 366.

            When Bail is given, the Principle (Defendant) is regarded as delivered to the custody of his sureties (Bondsmen). Whenever they choose to do so, they may seize him and deliver him up in their discharge (exoneration), and if that cannot be done at once, they may imprison him until it can be done. They may exercise their right in person or by agent (Bail Enforcement Agent). They may pursue him into another state ; may arrest him on the Sabbath; and if necessary, may break and enter his house for that purpose. This seizure is not made by virtue of new process. None is needed. It is Likened to the re-arrest , by the sheriff, of an escaping prisoner.

            Comment


            • #7
              Would-be bounty hunters nab innocent woman in Va.

              Originally posted by Resq14 View Post
              I'm so glad we don't have "bounty hunters" in my state.

              How do they deal with that in Maine, then. Are there no bail bondsmen either. Or do you have bail bondsmen and if they skip they have police make the arrest? Of does the court just issue a warrant and wait until they get popped for something else? If I recall correctly, in some areas doesn't the bail bond company have to bring their surety back in within a specified time period?

              Comment


              • #8
                SCV-Cop- See "Castle Doctrine Laws". They're actually quite interesting.

                From wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castle_..._United_States

                (California Penal Code § 198.5 sets forth that unlawful, forcible entry into one's residence by someone not a member of the household creates the presumption that the resident held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily injury should he or she use deadly force against the intruder. This would make the homicide justifiable under CPC § 197[1]. CALCRIM 506 gives the instruction, "A defendant is not required to retreat. He or she is entitled to stand his or her ground and defend himself or herself and, if reasonably necessary, to pursue an assailant until the danger ... has passed. This is so even if safety could have been achieved by retreating." However, it also states that "[People v. Ceballos] specifically held that burglaries which 'do not reasonably create a fear of great bodily harm' are not sufficient 'cause for exaction of human life.'”

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Munlaw
                  No Bounty Hunters here in Canada...Only a Peace Officer can arrest someone for failing to appear/skipping bail
                  Can private entities write bail bonds?

                  This practice arises from English common law, under which a private surety would post the bail and responsible for ensuring the appearance of the defendant in court. The defendant pays a fee to the surety and gives the surety the right to seize his person.
                  Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
                  Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Would-be bounty hunters nab innocent woman in Va.

                    Originally posted by SCV-Sop View Post
                    Question:

                    Say the guys got everything RIGHT and no sexual battery. However they still impersonated a drug task force to make the arrest. Would they still be in trouble?

                    A bounty hunter can't go banging on doors saying "POLICE OPEN UP". Correct?

                    Here's another Hypothetical:
                    Someone is banging on the door (identifying themselves as police) trying to bring me in and they are bounty hunters. I am the wrong person they are looking for. I do NOT know what is going on.

                    I look through a crack in the window and see three guys that are obviouly NOT LEO's but have restraining devices in hand and big dangrous euipment with them.

                    There is a 4 year old my brother and his wife in the house with me. We call 911.

                    They proceed with forced entry and I proceed to unload my 45 through the window killing the first one with a shot to the head. The others flee and call police.

                    I'm guessing here things are going to get sticky for me in the short term, but in the end I'm going to get off and they are going to get arrested and eventually charged for their buddies murder.

                    I know, I'm pushing my luck with my analysis, but it could have happened if those guys knocked on my door.
                    SCV-Sop, hopefully you are not one of those "I can't wait until somebody breaks into my house so I can blow his head off" guys.

                    Hypothetical for you, SCV-Sop. Say I am at a home that you are inside of. I have a court order to evict the occupants, but you are unaware of that because I served the previous tenants that the owner rented to, but him being a sleazy landlord rented to you and didn't bother to tell you that he is in default on his mortgage. I show up and, since I am in civilian clothing, you "look through a crack in the window and see three guys that are obviouly NOT LEO's but have restraining devices in hand and big dangrous euipment with them." I guess you kill me over making a forced entry? I see from your profile that you want to be in law enforcement. A couple of things that I have come to realize over the years that are just huge in some of these situations are:

                    -totality of circumstances

                    -correct information

                    If it is 11AM and somebody knocks on your door, wouldn't it actually make some sense to answer the door or at the very least tell them that you have called 911 and the police are en route?

                    I have to tell you I have arrested an awful lot of people over the years on arrest warrants. Some of them knew that they had a warrant for their arrest and some didn't. I always verify the warrant before making an arrest, but I really can't do much more than that. I have had some tell me that they are the wrong person or the court made a mistake, but that is what the court system is for, not to adjudicate this out on the street!

                    Two of the potentially dangerous things that I do frequently are arrest people and make forced entry into homes. I am not in uniform. I do generally try to have a uniformed officer with me, if possible. On the forcible entries I try to always do two things:

                    -have the SHERIFF flap displayed on my raid jacket, and

                    -announce "SHERIFF'S OFFICE--COURT ORDER" while making entry

                    Does it seem redundant or unnecessary? Maybe so, but just last week I did a forcible entry with a court order and the only occupant was totally deaf. He didn't hear one word I said. Yelling "SHERIFF'S OFFICE" was a waste of breathe, but I am glad I had my raid jacket on.

                    Conversely, I have made entries where I yelled "SHERIFF'S OFFICE" and the reply was "no se habla Ingles." Again, I was glad I had my raid jacket on. I guess the lesson is sometimes we can't communicate verbally, but we can visually. Other times it is just the opposite, we can communicate verbally, but maybe they can't read because they don't have their glasses on, etc.

                    I try to be sensitive to this because I remember years ago Minneapolis (MN) Police executed a search warrant with officers in civilian clothing. When they made entry the occupant started shooting. One of the officers was paralyzed, but the shooters defense was that because he didn't have his eyeglasses on, he didn't know that they were Minneapolis Police Officers.

                    I have found lots of typographical errors in legal documents over the years. Two weeks ago I get something for a specific address with Unit B on the court document. Nowhere on the home is marked Unit B. See a problem? Some people might assume that Unit B is upstairs. Still others would say that Unit B is "basement". Again, correct information is crucial. Can you imagine me making forced entry on the eviction in this scenario with SCV-Sop all set to kill me? (I guess my wife would be a rich widow!) Totality of circumstances matters!
                    Last edited by Jim1648; 01-04-2010, 11:01 PM. Reason: Details

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Because few responsible individuals have anything to gain from being a surety, I expect that few people other than family members are willing to act as such.

                      Is release on one's own recognizance the common practice?
                      Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
                      Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Bail enforcement agents can not also come onto federal property. Locked up one when I was in MI.
                        I don't answer recruitment messages....

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          That Canadian practice is actually fairly interesting. I wonder if the FTA rate up north is significantly higher than in the states...
                          -------------------------------
                          You can't fix stupid, but you can arrest it. - LINY

                          "Their house, their rules. And when they get robbed, they can call 911 and ask them to send a hippie to protect them." - ateamer

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Jim1648 View Post
                            How do they deal with that in Maine, then. Are there no bail bondsmen either. Or do you have bail bondsmen and if they skip they have police make the arrest? Of does the court just issue a warrant and wait until they get popped for something else? If I recall correctly, in some areas doesn't the bail bond company have to bring their surety back in within a specified time period?
                            We have bail commissioners who are officers of the court. They set bail and receive a set $60 per bail fee. Any secured bail assigned and collected above the $60 gets held by the court until arraignment/adjudication. I believe it can also be applied towards any assigned fine.

                            If someone skips town or otherwise violates their bail conditions, they can be arrested on the spot or a warrant can be issued. Bail conditions in Maine are online and will shows as a "conditions of release hit," which provides you with all the stipulations of the bail agreement.

                            We do release on personal recognizance occasionally, but not as often as we used to.

                            I can't imagine having to deal with these yahoo bounty hunters...
                            Last edited by Resq14; 01-05-2010, 03:12 PM.
                            All Gave Some - Some Gave All

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