For a short time I worked for a bail bond company recovering bond jumpers. This is a job usually reserved for bounty hunters. Television shows like Dog the Bounty Hunter make this job appear glamorous and easy. Let me tell you it is neither. The bounty hunter usually ends up spending more than the reward. Finding and arresting the jumper insures job security and the adrenalin rush becomes habit forming.
My partner and I started chasing a fugitive who failed to go to court and he failed to stay in touch with the company that posted his bail. This is grounds for the company to surrender the bond if the person could be located and arrested. When the individual fails to appear in court the judge will order a warrant for his/her arrest. The court notifies the bail bond company that they owe the full amount of the bond and they are given 30-45 days to pay the money or return the suspect to jail.
It is at this time that the hunt is on!
The individual that we were hunting knew we'd be looking for him as his bond was very large. He had previous experience with bonds and failing to appear in court. If found guilty this time he was going to lose his freedom for a very long time. So we'd have to be creative to find him and get him in custody.
After nearly a week of checking his regular hang-outs we finally located him in an apartment under an alias name. Because there were children in this large complex we didn't want to endanger them or anyone else so we waited hoping he'd leave the apartment. But he stayed in his apartment all day. We witnessed him standing in the doorway of his apartment talking to friends but he just wouldn't come outside. As the evening fell upon us
and it began to get dark, I had an idea. I told my partner to stay and watch his door until I returned. After approximately 30 minutes I returned with a bouquet of helium balloons.I had all sizes of them and they pretty much hid me behind them. I had one huge one that said, 'Happy Birthday' on it. My partner was looking at me with the most questioning face. I told him that I had remembered that this date was his birthday and he is going to have to step outside his apartment to take ownership of them. I told my partner to stand around the corner and be ready to grab him. He shook his head and told me this was a dumb idea.
We will see I told him. As I walked up to his door and knocked I stepped out from under his porch light and on to the grass which was outside a small overhanging roof. From inside the apartment he yelled out, 'Who is it?'
I responded that it is a delivery for Mr. Jackson (his alias). He actually opened the door and when he saw the balloons he was giddy with excitement. From behind the balloons I asked him if he was Mr. Patrick Jackson and he answered that he was. I then told him he'd have to step out to take the balloons from me. Without hesitation he took 2 steps out to the grassy area and as he reached for the strings on the balloons my partner grabbed him and placed him under arrest putting handcuffs on his wrists. I also let go of the balloons and they floated away.
Mr. Jackson was totally oblivious that we were bounty hunters as he was upset that he wasn't getting the balloon bouquet! He was deflated.
As we took him to the closest jail for booking he told the jailer that no one had ever given him anything for his birthday and he loved balloons. We got our man, but I felt bad about the way we did it until we got paid for the bounty. Deducting the $12.00 for the balloons left me with a sizable paycheck and a very happy client.
Shortly, after this incident I was working the area south of town and the dispatcher called me to serve a warrant for Felony Theft. The residence was a small neighborhood with only about 10 houses on a dead end street.
So I went to the neighborhood and parked my patrol car in front of the house. At first I wasn't sure there was anybody at home but I knocked on the door anyway. A lady answered the door and I identified myself telling her I wanted to talk to Robert Farris. This was her husband and he was in the kitchen so she called for him. As Mr. Farris came around the corner he was a white male about 6' 3" showing both arms completely tattooed with motorcycle insignias and gang symbols. I explained to Mr. Farris that I had a warrant for his arrest and I showed it to him. As we were discussing my arresting him I heard a very loud noise of several large motorcycles
outside surrounding the house. The next thing I heard and saw was at least 20 BANDIDOS inside the house. Mr. Farris told me they were his attorneys and he didn't think I could arrest him right then. I knew these guys were part of the roughest motorcycle group in Texas so I backed out of the house and back to my car where I drove off.
I summoned the SWAT team to assist me in this warrant arrest and shortly after dark we all went back to this house and we didn't knock at the door this time we just took it off the hinges. Out of the 25 bandidos that were in the residence we ended up arresting 15 of them for felony warrants for drug charges to murder charges. Oh, and I did arrest Mr. Farris after all.
This one warrant pretty much took the fun out of serving warrants for me. It actually scared the hell out of me. I didn't know it then but divine intervention was on my side.