Three bona-fide losers grab an innocent woman up, thinking that she's wanted and they can cash in. They assault her, rob her, molest her, and finally take her to the local jail, where it takes the jail staff just a few minutes to determine that she's not the wanted woman.
BRISTOL, Va. – A woman accused of skipping bond was handcuffed, sexually assaulted during a strip search and hauled off to jail Oct. 9. But the three who arrested her were only masquerading as drug task force agents.That TV show poser Duane "The Dog" Chapman and his fat wife have really made it seem cool to be a bounty hunter--someone who is not a police officer but who goes out and nabs criminals that some idiot bondsman bailed out of jail. Thanks to that show, every third zero suffering from "wanna-be" syndrome thinks that they can go out and just start rounding up criminals. Of course these people aren't police officers, and most of them could never pass the background checks and psychological examinations needed to become one. I have encountered several of them in my earlier life, and every one of them seemed to possess the following things:
On top of that, police said, the fake agents nabbed the wrong woman and passed her to a bail bondsman in the hopes of receiving a reward.
The bondsman then took the woman to the Bristol Virginia Jail, where she was immediately freed because jailers quickly discerned her true identity.
“She clearly had identification to clearly show she wasn’t the person in question,” Bristol Police Detective Sgt. Steven Crawford said Thursday.
Charges of abduction, robbery, impersonating a law enforcement officer, conspiracy and sexual battery were filed against the two men and a woman who staged the false arrest, Crawford said.
Officers arrested Donna Fitzwater, of Bristol, Tenn., and Dwayne Peters, of Greeneville, Tenn., on Thursday. They continue to search for Stacy Herndon, of Lebanon, Va.
A fourth person – Doug Roller, of Bristol, Va. – is being charged as an accessory, Crawford said, based on accusations that Roller lured the woman to Mumpower Park in Bristol, Va., so the trio could corral her.
“They ran out with badges in their hands and they’re screaming ... drug task force,” Crawford said.
The detective said the trio hoped to receive a reward from bail bondsman J.C. Mullins, of Abingdon Bail Bonds, after he had distributed a photo of a woman he’d bonded out of jail and who had skipped a court appearance.
Contacted late Thursday, Mullins said: “I’m not ready to talk about it right now.”
Mullins was the subject of several recent Bristol Herald Courier stories that detailed how his son, a former magistrate named John C. “Tiny” Mullins III, falsified bail bond documents to hide questionable dealings between the two.
The father is now under investigation by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services, which licenses bail bondsmen and women.
The son, Tiny Mullins, was fired from the magistrate’s office and is under investigation by a special prosecutor.
Crawford said Fitzwater, Herndon and Peters set out to find the girl shown in the picture.
“This girl [who was abducted], to me, they don’t even look alike,” Crawford said.
The woman and her friend were pulled from their car and handcuffed in the park. Several hundred dollars were confiscated from the woman, who then was subjected to a full-body cavity search for hidden drugs.
1. police equipment that they were not entitled to have, from marked body armor to badges.
2. weapons that they could not lawfully carry on their persons or in their vehicles.
3. drugs and/or a criminal history.
4. an attitude that they could get away with anything because they were "bounty hunters".
An awful lot of these tools wind up in jail when they come to the attention of the real police, as they should. The industry is unregulated, there are no licensing or training requirements for these fools, and anyone can call themselves a bounty hunter, even convicted felons like Chapman, who never seems to mention on his show that all of the fugitives he chases were bailed out of jail by his fat, loud-mouthed wife.
To say that I despise these people as a class is an understatement. I have yet to meet one who wasn't a self-impressed whack-job who posed at least some threat to the general public. These three are no exception and they serve as the latest example of why the state of Virginia (and every other state) should establish criteria for who can be a bail recovery agent (the proper term for bounty hunter), what their training must consist of, and what their powers and limitations are.
In the meantime, I hope that these three are sued right out of their trailers, and the bondsman that they were working for is stripped of his license as well. as the story indicates, he's hardly on the up-and-up his own self.