Bounty hunters raided home of Phoenix, Arizona’s top brass Tuesday night looking for a suspected fugitive.
Several members of two different bond recovery companies swarmed the home of the suspect around 10 p.m. after spending two hours keeping watch on the residence, reports Arizona Central.
Little did the bondsmen know that the door one of them had banged on actually belonged to the Joseph Yahner, Chief of Police in Phoenix, who was sleeping at the time, thanks to a bad tip they received on Facebook.
The bounty hunter’s vehicles were parked outside with their headlights shining in. Bondsman Brent Farley, 43, got into an argument with Yahner and ordered him to exit.
The house was surrounded by the bounty hunters. Farley pointed a flashlight through the window. He was armed and his weapon was not holstered, reported KPHO.
Yahner’s wife called 911.
Police say that the bond recovery companies were NorthStar Fugitive Recovery and Delta One Tactical Recovery. The company owners were present and 11 individuals attempted the recovery, including an 11-year-old child. Officers say several had handguns.
Police say they were using unconfirmed information sent to NorthStar on Facebook.
They were looking for black male, about six feet and three inches and 310 pounds. He was wanted out of Oklahoma on drug charges. Officers say that he looks nothing like their Chief or other occupants in the home.
Farley, the owner of NorthStar, was arrested on the scene for criminal trespassing and disorderly conduct. He is a convicted felon and he is not allowed to own a firearm. While most had realized the mistake, Farley refused to leave and continued to give commands to Chief Yahner, said Sgt. Trent Crump.
Investigators are trying to figure out who sent the bad tip and are also looking into whether the companies had any weapons violations.
Farley’s relative shot a video of it. Police say there were acting like it was a reality show.
Bounty hunters are often equipped like cops with bullet proof vests and weapons. They do not have to follow the same rules as police, like the requirement of obtaining a warrant or subpoena from a judge.
Former president of the Arizona Bail Bondsmen Association, John Burns, said week laws in Arizona allow anyone to be “John Wayne all day long” whether or not they have any education or training.
Photo Credit: Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office / KPHO