Friday, July 12, 2013

Part 2 Serving Warrants

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.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Serving Warrants

Serving arrest warrants can be one of the most dangerous jobs for police officers, constables, and bounty hunters.  Warrants can be issued for anything from searches of homes, cars or people.  There must be a lot of information before a judge issues a warrant and the wording must be specific as to what exactly the executing agent is looking for.  When that specific thing is found the warrant is concluded and considered served.  Most warrants are served by a minimum of two officers for their protection as well as the person being arrested or property owners if it is a search warrant.

While working with a narcotics task force of officers from several agencies we served warrants on meth labs, marijuana growers, and dealers  in various locations covering 3 counties in Central Texas.  Being one of only two female officers on this task force we always got to go in after the guys announced our presence and knocked the door in with a ramming bar or they got to kick the door in so we could run inside and stop the destruction of any drugs inside.  We also caught the bad guys off guard and at a disadvantage (we hoped) so the only ones with guns would be us.
After numerous search warrants served successfully I finally convinced the leader of the team to let me be the one to kick the door in on the next raid.  I was so pumped for this and I had something to prove.  As per the plan we were going to be entering the door at the back of the house.  It was early in the morning and as the sun was rising I heard the word, 'GO'!  So as I ran towards the door I raised my right foot and smashed it through the door.  The door swung open with me still hanging in it.  All the rest of my team ran passed me into the house yelling, 'Search warrant, task force.'  As they started the search I am still struggling to get out of the door.  I decided it would be easier to go through the door rather than trying to get out the way I came in.  That was a smart move.  I finally got my turn and boy did I show 'em.
In the debriefing it was a comedy show at my expense.  They all swore they didn't know it was a hollow core door but the more I thought about it the boss said yes to me too quick upon my request.
The next time we planned a search warrant we decided to hit a house that I was real familiar with and I didn't volunteer to kick the door in on this trip.  The informant that had been in the residence just hours before we were to raid it didn't have a chance to tell us that the door was blocked on the inside by a large refrigerator.  The occupants of the home had been evicted the day before and the home owner had moved the refrigerator to clean.  As was normal for radio silence prior to the announcement of the raid I also was unable to tell the team about the new development.  They hit the door with a battering ram, once, twice, and they were about to hit it again when I opened a front window and told them it would be easier if they came in the back door.  The team was completely dumbfounded.  It was my turn to have the laugh. The boss figured this was my way to get back at them for the hollow core door.  It wasn't of course but I wished I had thought of it!
Laughing at each other really was our salvation in difficult situations.

As I began a swing shift at 3pm I was given a warrant for an individual for arrest on the charge of rape.  I contacted another officer and showed him the warrant and asked him to back me up. 
As we approached the residence of the suspect we noticed someone was home.  A male came to the door after we knocked.  I asked him if he was the name on the warrant and he told me he was.  I then requested a driver's license or ID card to verify his claim.  He presented his license which did in fact identify him as the person we were looking for.  I then explained to him that we had an arrest warrant for him for the charge and I showed him the warrant.  He wanted to discuss the charges right there and he was told this was not the time or the place to do that.  He was advised to cooperate and after his bond was set he could obtain an attorney and work it all out. This individual became very indignant and reluctant to follow my directions as I placed him under arrest.  I walked him out side to my patrol car and I opened the back door for him to get in and sit.  At this point the backup officer left.  The suspect sat in the backseat with his legs and feet outside the car.  He refused to put his feet inside so the door could be closed.  I stood there with him refusing to cooperate for about 15 minutes.  Finally, I bent over and picked up his feet to place them in the car.  It was at this point that he lifted his right foot and kicked me very hard on my left arm above the elbow.  My reaction was to immediately pop him in the nose with the back of my right hand.  He yelled and immediately put his feet in the car and I slammed the door shut!
I took him to the city jail and he was booked.  Afterwards he was given medical care for his bloodied nose.  I went to my Sergeant and told him what had happened.  I wrote another report about the assault on me by this individual and we took several photos.  The photos showed a very clear imprint of the shoe this guy was wearing in a bruise.
About 9 months later an agent with the FBI came to the police department and spoke with our legal adviser about a civil rights violation charge that had been filed on me.  The FBI agent was brought to the patrol division and I was called in to meet with him.  When I walked in to the office this agent was surprised to see that Officer T was a female.  This was not stated in his report from the complaining party.  So he read me my rights and proceeded to tell me about the complaint.  When he told me the complainant's name I knew then it was the guy I had arrested on the Rape warrant.  I brought the photographs to the agent of the bruise I received from him on my arm.  I told him that when I hit him it was simply a reactive movement after he kicked me.  This agent was totally appalled at these pictures and he told me that his broken nose was justified as far as he was concerned.  The agent closed the complaint as UNFOUNDED.
Thank You, Jesus.

to be continued......