TULSA, Okla. — Two bounty hunters bust their way through an elderly woman’s home in Tulsa looking for a fugitive.
They soon found out they were at the wrong house.
Police said two of the three bounty hunters had warrants for their own arrests.
Now, professional bounty hunters are calling for regulation.
Oklahoma law only requires bounty men to be 18 years old.
There is no gun or weapons instruction or even training on how to arrest the fugitives they are hunting.
Bounty Hunter David Dunn has been a licensed private investigator for 16 years.
Even though it’s not required, he has taken the initiative to get various certifications and training, which he said rouge hunters lack.
“They’re not licensed private investigators, they’re not licensed bondsmen, they’re not licensed anything. They simply buy a badge, a t-shirt and find a bondsman who will give them a file. From there, they go to work without knowing anything about what they are doing,” Dunn said.
Dunn said the weapons they use including, firearms, tasers, pepper spray, among others, can be deadly when used in unskilled hands.
Police said Ronnie Shaw and Cecil Deere, two of the three men who stormed through the elderly woman’s home, actually had warrants for their arrests.
Senator Ralph Shortey (R) has tried to pass Senate Bill 1872 calling for regulation of the industry for the past two legislative sessions; it failed each time.
Criminal defense attorney David Slane said, “No little old lady should be disturbed while home alone by three guys waiving guns and kicking in her front door.”
Another group of bounty hunters in Midwest City was accused of doing the same thing and holding an entire family hostage.
News Channel 4 obtained a list of almost a dozen working bounty hunters in Oklahoma who are targeting fugitives while they have criminal pasts themselves.
“We have to pass a test to drive a car. It’s just unimaginable that we allow people to kick in doors, arrest others and they don’t have to have any training or experience,” Slane said.
While there are many cases of cowboy bounty hunters who make huge mistakes, the Oklahoma Bondsman Association said legitimate bounty men save tax payers millions each year.