Archive for Sunday, July 11, 2004

K.C. bail bondsmen charged with assault

Bounty hunters broke into wrong house, assaulted teenager, police charge

July 11, 2004


— Police have charged two bounty hunters with assaulting a teenage girl after apparently breaking into the wrong house.

Ali Barume, 27, and Jerry Roby, 31, were looking Wednesday night for a woman who had skipped bail when they knocked on the door of Frenchelle Williams-Marsh, 16.

Williams-Marsh and her 15-year-old brother were home alone and wouldn't let the men in. The youths began calling their mother, relatives and 911 for help and grabbed kitchen knives for self-defense.

In the ensuing altercation, the men used pepper spray and handcuffed the girl.

Police eventually arrested the two men for misdemeanor assault, not having a city license and failing to display a city license. Roby also faces a property damage charge for breaking glass in a back door to the house.

The city began requiring bondsmen to have licenses last year in response to a June 2002 case in which a 23-year-old man died while struggling with three bounty hunters who were looking for his brother.

ASAP Bonding officials defended Barume and Roby, saying Friday it was simply a case of mistaken identity that got out of hand. The company said its employees had licenses, but city records indicated Barume hadn't completed the process for a license and Roby hadn't even applied.

The company said it paid to replace the glass.

"I did my part as far as it's going to go in my opinion," said John Garrett, ASAP's co-owner.

But family members and neighbors demanded Friday that police investigate to see if any other state or federal laws were violated.

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