Like so many cops have done in the past, bounty hunters were acting on “a tip” that a fugitive was hiding in a Phoenix home, so they surrounded the home in the dark of night, banging on the front door, shining flashlights into windows and yelling for the people inside to “open the door!”.
And like so many cops have done in the past, they had the wrong home.
In fact, they were banging on the home of Phoenix Police Chief Joseph Yahner, which led to the arrest of one of the bounty hunters.
Something that never happens to cops who raid the wrong home.
The incident was captured on video, a clip lasting less than a minute, but at this time, it is not clear who recorded it.
The bounty hunters, which consisted of more than 11 people from two companies, were looking for a fugitive from Oklahoma, whom they were informed was at the residence of Yahner.
But now they believe somebody had purposely misled them. It may have even been Roderick Battle himself, the man they were supposedly looking for, whose photo they posted on their Facebook page, which has now been taken offline.
Brent Farley, 43, the owner of NorthStar Recovery, was charged with criminal trespass and disorderly conduct. The others were not charged because they realized they had the wrong home when the shirtless chief opened the door, carrying a baton, telling them to get lost.
Miraculously, nobody was shot and killed or left disfigured by a flash grenade, like so many cops have done in the past during raids on the wrong houses.
According to the Arizona Republic:
In the video, a pickup truck is in the driveway of Yahner’s home, and several people are near the front door. Several times, someone yells, “Roderick, open the door,” while a voice from the house yells back. The door eventually opens and a man inside says, “Turn the light off” twice to the man outside holding a flashlight before the door shuts.
The exterior lights of the home then turn on, illuminating the three figures, two of whom appear to be wearing bulletproof vests. The door opens wide to a shirtless man exiting the house while holding something in his hands. That something was a baton, Crump said.
The video clip stops there. Crump said the rest will be logged as evidence in court but he described what happened next as a “heated confrontation.”
“After awakening him (Yahner) from a dead sleep, he comes out in protection mode,” Crump said. “And when he does come out and he challenges them, I think they quickly come to realize (the mistake), with the exception of one of them.”
Crump said Farley refused to leave the property and continued to give commands to Yahner until another bounty hunter pulled him aside.
Bounty hunters are often outfitted just like policemen, with bulletproof vests and weapons. And they are not hindered by rules that typically govern law enforcement, such as needing to go before a judge for a warrant or a subpoena.
John Burns, former president of the Arizona Bail Bondsmen Association, said Arizona is one of the few states that don’t require bail bondsmen or fugitive recovery agents to be trained or educated. Burns has been working to push a bill that would require both, he said.
Perhaps we can also pass a bill that would require cops across the country to be trained and educated as well because not only do they frequently raid the homes of innocent people, as you can see in the image below, but they frequently kill innocent people during these raids, as you can see in the second image below.
Both images come from the Cato Institute’s “Botched Paramilitary Police Raids,” an interactive map that allows you narrow or expand your search by state, year or other specification.
Video of the bounty hunter raid on the police chief’s home is below the two images.