By murrayson14009744, Nov 28 2016 04:01PM
Adventures of a Bail Bondsman, Part 1
Where on earth do I start? I suppose telling you a little about myself might be a good place. My name is Valerie Murray. I live in the small town of Fairborn just outside of Dayton, Ohio. We have a population of 30,000 give or take a scoundrel or two. It's pretty typical. We're near an Air Force Base with a big showing for the Fourth of July parade, football games and church on Sunday. There are quite a few restaurants, drug stores and used car lots. But, there is only one of my businesses. You see I am a Bail bondsman and this is my diary. Well, sort of....The stories I'm about to share with you are true. The names have been changed to protect the guilty. Those who I have bonded out come from all walks of life. Some you will love some you'll hate and some you'll not understand how anyone can be so damn dumb.
My first recovery came about when Bobby, a 32 year old construction worker that I had bailed out of the Montgomery County jail, didn't show up for his court date. His crime had been an OVI (Operating a vehicle while impaired). I never did understand why he didn't go to court. He was only facing a license suspension and fines. Never the less he didn't show and I was looking at losing $5,000.00. to Kettering Court. I had 30 days to bring him in. I started with his girlfriend who had co-signed for him and paid the initial premium for his bond. Premium is a fancy word the Department of Insurance uses for our fee. You see we charge 10% of whatever the bond is. That is how we make our living, put food on the table, keep the lights on,etc. Most people who we bail out don't seem to understand that. As soon as their case is over they're on the phone wondering when they will get their money back! Anyway, when I contacted Bobby’s, babies mamma, she said she hadn't seen his cheatin’ ass and never wanted to again. She asked that I not call her at work anymore. I honored her wishes for about 30 seconds. I called back and reminded her that there would be an additional $500.00 fee for my recovery team if he did not turn up soon. Otherwise, she would be held responsible for the whole $5,000.00. I could hear the wheels turning through the phone. I couldn't believe it but she said she'd put a check in the mail and for us to go and get him. You have to understand , in this business most of the people we deal with are criminals. Criminals are liars. Criminals aren't always cheats, thieves or thugs but they are all liars. After the surprising check cleared, Charlie T, my fiance and I talked about it at length and decided to go ahead and pick him up. He had no violent history such as a CCW (carrying a concealed weapon) or assault. Two years prior he had a domestic violence. But, I have found most men with that charge are spineless anyway. I felt confident that Charlie T and I could handle it alone. Now you have to understand I use the word “alone” very loosely. Your first reaction to him is that he is definitely one you don't want to mess with. At 6ft. 185 pounds, a weathered experience face and those "I can see straight thru you eyes", he can be quite imposing. The streaks of silver in his hair and beard is all that gives away his 56 years.
We decided to stake out the construction company where he last worked. When we called, they said he had been fired and they hadn't seen him in weeks. Since he had worked for them for over 10 years, we felt they were lying. We got up the next morning at 4am for the hour long drive. The main office was located off of a state rte. with no lights or street signs. To top it off, it was 40 degrees and raining. Charlie and I are normally pretty pleasant in the morning. In fact I make my kids sick I'm so happy. But, not “that” early. We were both kind of quiet. Driving my V-8 club cab Dakota with no heat, not being able to see , drinking cold coffee and just plain being lost didn't help matters. Charlie was ragging on me for not map questing the site. I in turn reminded him that he said he knew where it was. That's when the “shut-ups” started. You shut up!! No, you shut up!! Back and forth we went .... We made the Bickersons look like the Brady Bunch. The thing is the Bickersons were a lot more imaginative. I was pathetic. I can fight much better than that! It was just too damn early. I guess we both realized how ridiculous we sounded at about the same time. We both burst out laughing so hard that I had tears in my eyes, had to pee and had to pull over. It was a good thing. No, it was a "very" good thing... After we composed ourselves we looked up and there was the street we were looking for......To be continued.....
Adventures of a Bail Bondsman Part 2
As you may recall, after "having" to pull over, we spotted the street we had been looking for. Well, I really wouldn't call it a street. It was more like a wide dirt path with big ruts. Obviously, the road was used for moving heavy equipment. I spotted a backhoe and dump truck... We finally found it! The sun had just started to rise. There was just enough light that we could see without the headlights. I slowly pulled onto the dirt road and drove about an 1/8 of a mile. Charlie T and I were silent, thinking and wide eyed. There was a large 1 story cement block building on the left. The lights were on and you could see several people moving around inside. Behind the building, there was a fenced enclosure filled with heavy duty construction “man” toys. Next to the building and across the road were the parking lots. We chose to back into a spot across from the main building. We could see everyone coming and going. Also, in my beat up black truck we didn't stand out too awfully bad.
We contacted the local authorities letting them know we were Dayton bail bondsmen, in the area and what our intentions were. This cuts out any misunderstandings with the police department when they see you packing a 38 Smith and Wesson. It only took them a few minutes to check out the warrant and called back giving us the thumbs up to proceed.
I knew that Bobby had been driving a red jeep Wrangler. Our only hope for surprise was that he still was... It was closing in on 7:30 and it was still gray out. The rain had turned to a fine icy mist. We had seen 8 or 9 men pull up in the lot next to the main building. They'd go in for 5 minutes or so and come out with a clipboard talking to themselves. They were obviously getting their assignments for the day. Just before 8 o'clock, we broke the tense silence starting to lose hope that he would show at all. Not 2 minutes later we spot a red vehicle coming up the road. As it got closer, I could see that it was a jeep. We looked at each other & didn't say a word but just watched as the jeep pulled straight into a spot next to the main building. We were waiting for the driver to get out so we could make sure it was him. When his feet hit the ground and he stood up, I knew for sure that it was. At 6'2 and 250lbs it wasn't hard to ID him. We decided to make the arrest when he came out from getting his assignment. I would approach from behind the jeep on the drivers side as he was opening the door. Charlie T would take the front between the jeep and the fence in case he decided to run for it. The next five minutes seemed like forever. My heart was pounding so hard that it echoed in my ears. I was surprised Charlie didn't hear it. Actually, he may have and just didn't say anything not making me any more nervous than I already was. Charlie had already gotten in position when Bobby was leaving the building. As he reached for the jeeps door handle...I took off running across the road .. warrant in in my left hand, Smith and Wesson (holstered) on my right. I called out his name and said “remember me?”. You would not believe the look on his face. I thought his eyeballs would pop out of his head. He stammered a bit and said that I had made a mistake and had the wrong guy. All the while his eyes darting around looking for a place to run. Charlie seeing this stepped into his view. Here my man stood. With black jeans, leather jacket and with his hook, he was a tad imposing. Oh, I forgot to mention that Charlie had lost his arm in an accident when he was a child. He normally wore a prosthetic that sort of looked like a real arm (below the elbow) and hand. But, we felt the hook would be a little more intimidating. We were right. After spotting him, Bobby just turned, faced the jeep and put his hands behind his back. After I put the cuffs on and started leading him to the truck he tipped his head and whispered something to Charlie. Charlie winked at me and told me to go on that they would be right there. I found out later that Bobby had pot on him and asked that it be left in his car. He said he didn't need more charges than he already had. I had no problem with that. After all, he “was” going to jail and I wasn't losing $5,000. With cuffs on and his hands behind his back, we strapped him in the passenger seat. Charlie sat in the cab behind him with his hook across his chest for added security. I drove and headed for the Montgomery County jail.
About 10 minutes into the ride he asked if he could make a call and let someone know where he was. I handed my cell to Charlie so he could dial and hold the phone for him. Now, you have to picture this. We have a 32 year old 250 lb. Tough guy Construction worker sitting calmly waiting for whomever he called to answer.... The next thing we hear is a blubbering... MOM.... THEY GOT ME!!!! His face all twisted ready to cry. My mouth just fell open. In disbelief, I looked at Charlie. He had the same stunned look. We were silent for a moment letting it sink in. We than burst out laughing so hard that not only did I wish I were wearing depends but I had to pull over......Again. (part 3 "Cherokee" to follow)
Adventures of a Bail Bondsman Part 3
When I first got the call from T.J. Crosell, Cherokee's boss, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. He asked me to look him up explaining that he may want to post his bond. Cherokee, of course, was not his real name but dubbed that because he was Indian. After seeing his charges, my first question was why would you possibly want to be on the hook for $10,000 involving this guy? He had said that he was a General Contractor and needed Cherokee to finish a job. He had the money and property to back the bond. It gave me a feeling that this could be good. ( There are so many times you have someone call who is either underage, no job, no money, no collateral, in other words no way)....
After I pulled Cherokee's file up, I felt much different. I had to tell Mr. Crosell what he would be signing for. Cherokee had a possession of crack with intent to sell. That meant he had a bunch of crack. I always look up my bondees history before I call the co-signer back so I can be honest with them about their priors. This includes but not limited to... failure to appears, domestic violence, carrying concealed weapons, theft or anything else they may not know about. After all, they are going to stick their neck, not to mention money, out for them. Cherokees history was pretty bad. I took a deep breath and called Mr. Crosell expecting him to back out of guaranteeing the bond. He told me he knew of his past and that Cherokee was his best plumber. He had worked for him for over a year and never did anything wrong. He showed up every day and did a great job. He even said that he would have Cherokee stay with him the night before court to make sure he got there.
I went through the regular checks on the co-signer, no big felonies or history of violence. Mr. Crosell had some murky water, not too bad and he owned property. He bought repo homes in the ghetto, fixed them up a bit and sold them on land contract. He, himself was a bit of a hustler. He just hadn't been arrested...yet. When we met to set everything up, I got the property to back the bond, promissory note signed, ID and the 10% for me. I knew right then that he was in the process of raising himself from a bad place. I didn't feel in danger but I felt he could be dangerous. Kind of smooth. Thought himself a ladies man, probably was. I posted bond for Cherokee within the hour. He was back to work for Crosell Construction in two. He wasn't scheduled for court for another two weeks. I checked in with T. J. a couple times a week to make sure all was well. He assured me he had it all under control. Cherokee showed up for work every morning and was doing a great job. The evening before he was to show for trial I called just as a reminder and to make me feel better. I was told that Cherokee was sleeping in the guest room and he would be taking him to court in the morning. I was a happy person......Then I got the call. At 7:30AM I was holding the phone with a crazy man screaming on the other end. Not only was Cherokee gone but he stole his bosses truck and his gun. I tried to calm him down with letting him know that I had 30 days before the $10,000 was lost and I was sure I WOULD FIND HIM. He wasn't having it. He took it personal. It was not about the” money”. He was betrayed and used. Where he came from, trust and loyalty was much more important…
T. J. told me not to worry, that he would let me know where and when to pick him up. I warned him that he did not legally have any right to hold him. He should leave it up to me. My team and I would take care of it. Again, he was not hearing me. He hung up....He was on a mission…..
Adventures of a Bail Bondsman Part 4
I immediately got out Cherokees application with all his personal info. His only relative was a daughter that lived in Vegas. After speaking to her I was sure she wouldn't hide him. She practically spat when she heard his name. She wasn't faking. It made me feel sad. She really hated her father. Cherokee was out there with no one...
We did the normal checks at his haunts and the places he normally scored. Not any luck... Once we put up reward posters, we got calls but nothing really solid. He was probably high on a suppliers couch with a ( hate this term) crack whore til what money he had left was gone. Several days later he was spotted at (go figure) Walmart by T.J.’s brother, DeShawn. He yelled at him and of course Cherokee took off running. DeShawn ended up tripping over a cement parking block and broke his collar bone. Needless to say, this put Cherokees boss in a very bad place. He would not answer any calls and went totally underground even with his business. He was unreachable. I got back in touch with everyone that knew Cherokee including his daughter. At this point, I began to fear for his life.
There were no feelings of sympathy from anyone. So, we waited.... Two long days later, I got a call around 11 PM. You want the Indian? Yes... I said. Pick him up at the BP across from the court.....in 20 minutes. They immediately hung up. Shaking and talking to myself, I threw on some sweats, my boots, grabbed my bag and threw in my gun. I was headed for the BP on my own. There was no time to bring anyone with me. I knew, especially Charlie, would be pissed. But, he was away at Bike Week in Daytona and I could not let the opportunity to pick him up pass.
It was cold and the streets were empty of any life. Getting to the meeting place, I went through a neighborhood of deserted homes with boarded up windows and long lost mom and pop stores. When I reached the lights of the BP, I realized that it was closed. I then took the gun out of my bag and put it in my coat pocket. There was a street light near the corner that gave some visuals but not much. As I pulled in, a man, who I didn’t know came from behind the car wash and asked if I was Valerie. I said yes and he pushed Cherokee towards me and said...He's yours!! I almost had to catch him. He could barely walk and his face was beaten badly. I helped him to my car to lean on it. When I turned to talk to the man who had asked my name... He was gone as fast as he had appeared. I heard a vehicle start up and pull away from the other side of the BP. I didn't see what kind it was. I was glad. I didn’t want to know. I asked Cherokee if he needed to go to the hospital. He said he had gotten worse and just wanted to get this over with. I explained that I had a warrant for his arrest and would be taking him to jail. He, of course, already knew. When we got to the jail, I got the warrant and the paperwork out to turn him in. The jailer looked at me like I should be the one arrested. I quickly explained that I got a tip on his location and this was how I found him. I also added that I offered to take him to the ER but he refused. They took him into custody, signed my prisoner surrender sheet and I left saying a silent prayer of gratitude.
Two days later I GOT A FORFEITURE NOTICE FOR THE $ 10,000 BOND saying HE DID NOT SHOW UP IN COURT!! I called not understanding how that could possibly happen. It was explained to me that after he was booked he complained so much that they took him to the hospital for treatment. He slipped the police and walked out of the hospital. He had obviously not been as bad as he looked.
I had to have my attorney go to court to prove that I did “my” job. I got him back in jail within 30 days. I ended up not losing my money. Since he hasn’t been seen since…. I can’t help but think that Cherokee was the one who ended up losing….
To be continued part five coming soon. It is titled "My hardest ID, My cross dresser"