UGLY:Bondsmen accused of pulling guns inside store

This is a discussion on UGLY:Bondsmen accused of pulling guns inside store within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I've posted the entire article here as I believe it would be unviewable by most members here. This was an incident involving bondsmen apprehending a ...

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    Senior Member Array Dadsnugun's Avatar
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    UGLY:Bondsmen accused of pulling guns inside store

    I've posted the entire article here as I believe it would be unviewable by most members here. This was an incident involving bondsmen apprehending a bail jumper, but I think it kind of fits into the category of "ordinary citizen playing cops and robbers" as I don't know what, if any special training that these men are given in the course of their duty. It also made me wonder what, if anything a CCW holder might do having witnessed this episode, there being no apparent or obvious indication that these men were in anyway connected with law enforcement at the time of the incident. This seems to me the perfect time to find some cover...fast! And let events play out until one can more readily ascertain just what in the heck is going on.


    Bondsmen accused of pulling guns inside store | GJSentinel.com

    Bondsmen accused of pulling guns inside store

    By Paul Shockley
    Thursday, September 22, 2011

    Two employees of a Montrose bail-bond business face criminal charges for brandishing guns as they chased a wanted fugitive inside a Walmart store in Grand Junction.

    Lee Turner, 21, and James Woods, 32, both with AA Bail Bonds LLC, were issued summonses by the Grand Junction Police Department on Monday night on suspicion of disorderly conduct and reckless endangerment, according to Police Sgt. Dave Stassen.

    Grand Junction officers opened an investigation after employees and customers called 911 just after 5 p.m., reporting three men, two of whom were carrying handguns, had chased another man inside Walmart, 2881 North Ave.

    The pursuing trio caught up with the man near a cashier’s station at the front of the store, tackled him and placed him in handcuffs, Stassen said.

    Two of the pursuers kept guns pointed on the alleged bail skip, Michael Nilsen, 31, as a third man placed Nilsen in handcuffs, Stassen said. The bondsmen wore plain clothes with no identification.

    “They did not explain themselves to a (Walmart) loss-prevention officer,” Stassen said.

    Turner and Woods were interviewed and ticketed after Grand Junction police met them at the Mesa County Jail later Monday, which was after Turner and Woods had delivered Nilsen to the jail.

    Nilsen, who jail records indicate is homeless, was wanted on bonds totaling $35,000 after he allegedly failed to appear in court in June for two separate felony cases, including charges of escape, possession of less than 2 ounces of methamphetamine, possession of less than 2 ounces of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

    Stassen said there is no Colorado prohibition on bail bondsmen carrying firearms in the course of doing their jobs, but they’re still subject to firearms statutes.

    “You can’t display a weapon in a manner that causes people to be greatly alarmed,” he said.

    According to Stassen, one witness told officers he or she was nearly knocked to the ground while the bondsmen wrestled with Nilsen on the floor. Two Walmart loss-prevention officers were listed in court documents as witnesses. It wasn’t clear how many customers watched it unfold.

    Monday’s incident was the second in slightly more than two months in which bail-bond industry tactics have received critical attention from Mesa County law enforcement.

    Public sparring between Mesa County Sheriff Stan Hilkey and television bounty hunter Duane “Dog” Chapman focused a national spotlight on Grand Junction as the sheriff ripped Chapman and his associates for exposing Sheriff’s Department staff and visitors to a heavily pepper-sprayed Andrew Distel, 29, who was delivered to the Mesa County Jail on July 20. Chapman, whose work was panned as “peacockery” by Hilkey, defended his handling of the incident.

    The sheriff said Distel was pepper-sprayed “excessively,” although the incident was not investigated criminally.

    The Chapmans in July were in Grand Junction working for Dean Hergenrader, owner of Montrose-based AA Bail Bonds.

    In response to a Daily Sentinel request for comment on Monday’s incident, Hergenrader faxed a prepared statement saying he was “greatly apologetic” to Walmart and its customers for witnessing “the bad choices of Michael Nilsen.”

    Hergenrader said they were told by an informant Nilsen would be armed and sought to prevent him entering the store.

    “Also, we did not want to inadvertently send a message to dangerous fugitives that all they have to do is run into Walmart and be OK,” the statement said.

    Hergenrader said they had been looking for Nilsen for several months and were tipped he was in the 2800 block of North Avenue. Nilsen made a “last ditch” attempt to flee when spotted Monday.

    “We strongly felt for the safety of the citizens of Mesa County, Mr. Nilsen needed to be apprehended and he was,” the statement said.
    Last edited by Dadsnugun; September 25th, 2011 at 03:59 PM.
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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    A lot of Bounty Hunters are professional,but then you got some who think that the way the law is written on the books that they can do anything they want to take an absconder into custody,there are ways to surveil a perp and then pick a spot to take him down where he is at a disadvantage,especially when he is suspected of being armed,the Bondsman could be kissing his livelihood good bye if there was a shootout in the Walmart with several injuries/deaths.
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    Senior Member Array Dennis1209's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, a bounty hunter and game warden have more authority than LE in most states. They can knock down your door and enter with out a search warrant. To my knowledge, a bounty hunter works under the same laws as a CCW holder regarding state law.

    P.S. I'll bet you never heard of a bounty hunter skip tracing an extremely dangerous felon who skipped bail?

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    Senior Member Array GentlemanJim's Avatar
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    So, they chased a man they thought to be armed into a Walmart? They continued the chase until they tackled him at the checkout counter!

    What if he had indeed been armed and their pursuit precipitated a gunfight.

    My mind boggles at their stupidity.

    Jim

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    The Laws varries State by state, but once you sign on the dotted line your Butt is theirs & have NO rights ; )
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    I question the legitimacy of anyone who hires Duane “Dog” Chapman. The man is a convicted felon, as well as a international bail jumper himself.
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    Senior Member Array Chad Rogers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GentlemanJim View Post
    So, they chased a man they thought to be armed into a Walmart? They continued the chase until they tackled him at the checkout counter!

    What if he had indeed been armed and their pursuit precipitated a gunfight.

    My mind boggles at their stupidity.

    Jim
    However, had they been sworn LEOs, they could have essentially done the same with no repercussions. (Of course the nature of the original offense must be taken into consideration in assessing such scenarios.)

    I have mixed feelings on this.

    But this overall topic is where I digress from many of my friends and associates. Some say there should be no training requirement to CCW as it is a God-given Constitutional right to bear arms. But as I read about the people who get themselves jammed up during the act of dealing with situations, I cannot help but feel that some serious measure of training should be mandatory. And I'm not talking about some of these 4-hours classroom and then shoot off some rounds training as qualifying as training. I'm talking about some quality training that includes all the essentials of CCW survival. Personally, I don't see how that could be done in less than a full weekend, if that.

    JMHO....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chad Rogers View Post
    However, had they been sworn LEOs, they could have essentially done the same with no repercussions. (Of course the nature of the original offense must be taken into consideration in assessing such scenarios.)

    I have mixed feelings on this.

    But this overall topic is where I digress from many of my friends and associates. Some say there should be no training requirement to CCW as it is a God-given Constitutional right to bear arms. But as I read about the people who get themselves jammed up during the act of dealing with situations, I cannot help but feel that some serious measure of training should be mandatory. And I'm not talking about some of these 4-hours classroom and then shoot off some rounds training as qualifying as training. I'm talking about some quality training that includes all the essentials of CCW survival. Personally, I don't see how that could be done in less than a full weekend, if that.

    JMHO....
    You know, I bet they had to pass a test to get their bondsman's license. These guys --as all of us do at one time or another-- just lost track of their brains.
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    Member Array CaptSmith's Avatar
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    Who does a bail bond for ESCAPE ??? Ya, thats what I thought

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    Distinguished Member Array Toorop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis1209 View Post
    Unfortunately, a bounty hunter and game warden have more authority than LE in most states. They can knock down your door and enter with out a search warrant. To my knowledge, a bounty hunter works under the same laws as a CCW holder regarding state law.

    P.S. I'll bet you never heard of a bounty hunter skip tracing an extremely dangerous felon who skipped bail?
    It is very sad if this is the case. I always picture a bunch of Dawg the Bounty Hunter types. Very sad.

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    Distinguished Member Array Toorop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chad Rogers View Post
    However, had they been sworn LEOs, they could have essentially done the same with no repercussions. (Of course the nature of the original offense must be taken into consideration in assessing such scenarios.)

    I have mixed feelings on this.

    But this overall topic is where I digress from many of my friends and associates. Some say there should be no training requirement to CCW as it is a God-given Constitutional right to bear arms. But as I read about the people who get themselves jammed up during the act of dealing with situations, I cannot help but feel that some serious measure of training should be mandatory. And I'm not talking about some of these 4-hours classroom and then shoot off some rounds training as qualifying as training. I'm talking about some quality training that includes all the essentials of CCW survival. Personally, I don't see how that could be done in less than a full weekend, if that.

    JMHO....
    I just think it was a lack of forethought. Perhaps they should have thought their actions through and waited for a better time to apprehend the man.

    As afar as LEOs, they would have waited unless the man was an immediate threat to others in my opinion, especially if they were just going to pick him up. I don't think they would go play cowboy and just draw down on him unless they were told he is armed and is a threat to others.

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    Distinguished Member Array jumpwing's Avatar
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    Lee Turner, 21, and James Woods, 32, both with AA Bail Bonds LLC, were issued summonses by the Grand Junction Police Department on Monday night on suspicion of disorderly conduct and reckless endangerment, according to Police Sgt. Dave Stassen.
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    Senior Member Array Dadsnugun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jumpwing View Post
    Few people know this area is a mecca for the "Hollywood Elite Gone Bad".
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    Quote Originally Posted by hogdaddy View Post
    The Laws varries State by state, ....
    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis1209 View Post
    Unfortunately, a bounty hunter and game warden have more authority than LE in most states.
    In Kansas, Bail Bond Recovery Agent's are not licensed and have no more authority than a normal citizen.

    If armed they would have to have a CCW permit/license and OC is prohibited in a few cities.

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    Quote Originally Posted by archer51 View Post
    I question the legitimacy of anyone who hires Duane “Dog” Chapman. The man is a convicted felon, as well as a international bail jumper himself.
    Yup, the guy is little better than pond scum himself. I don't watch his program. From pictures, I think he packs an air-soft gun.

    Fitch
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