Bounty hunters inflict injury and death on innocent bystanders

Bounty hunters, technically known as bail bond recovery agents, receive scant oversight when they seek licensing from the Washington Department of Licensing. State law does not prevent people with criminal histories from receiving licenses as bounty hunters. Agents frequently have convictions for drunk driving, domestic abuse, disorderly conduct and theft. These agents also have an almost unrestricted ability to enter homes without warrants and apply force when capturing fugitives. n some cases, bystanders to their actions suffer serious injuries or even death.

The mother of a son who had jumped bond for a burglary charge was shot in the face with rubber bullets by a bounty hunter when a team of agents stopped her vehicle. She now lives with scars on her face and post-traumatic stress disorder resulting from the attack.

In another case, three armed bounty hunters entered a home without warning in Pierce County. They were looking for the son of the couple who lived there because of his outstanding warrants. Panicked by the armed intruders, the woman grabbed an unloaded pistol. A bounty hunter hit her with a stun gun, and another agent shot her twice. She died five hours later.

A person or family that has suffered in the aftermath of a violent attack could explore the potential of recovering monetary damages for injuries or wrongful death by talking to an attorney. An investigation managed by an attorney could document evidence of reckless and negligent actions that caused harm. A lawsuit prepared by an attorney might empower violent crime victims who want to hold their attackers accountable for physical and psychological injuries that persist for a lifetime.

Source: The Seattle Times, "Lax Washington oversight of bounty hunters sets stage for mayhem, tragedy", Daphne Zhang, Jan. 11, 2019

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