The bounty hunter has taken on an almost mythical status. Most of us have probably never met one, so our opinions of bounty hunters are frequently based on fictional characters. Perhaps the best-known bounty hunter is Duane "Dog" Chapman, star of the A&E reality show Dog the Bounty Hunter. A long-haired tough guy, Dog went after fugitives like an '80s action hero. But what do bounty hunters do outside the public eye?
Defendants in court cases often have the option of posting bail to stay out of jail during a trial. They enter into a legal contract with a bail bond agent, agreeing to appear in court in exchange for their freedom. If they don’t show, the bondsperson can send a bounty hunter to apprehend them.
The job can be more complicated than it sounds. Is it all action, all the time? Do bounty hunters kill people? In these true stories taken from Reddit, real-life bounty hunters describe what their profession is really like.
From Redditor /u/Defrostmode:
I contacted a defendant in the state of Kansas, it was a complete coincidence that he was even there. We had been doing surveillance on his residence for a few days and I decided to walk by to get a closer look. As I was passing the house the defendant and his girlfriend were getting into a vehicle so, with no backup, I decided to go ahead and try and make the arrest.
I approached the vehicle on the passenger side where I had observed him enter the car. When I walked up to the vehicle the fugitive had no idea I was there and the passenger side door was open so I grabbed his arm and advised that I am a fugitive recovery agent. He immediately started resisting so I used control holds and pressure points in an attempt to control him. I hit him with the taser to attempt compliance. He hit the horn on the car to draw attention and his family came pouring out of the house. I had one cuff on him and was fighting with his family while holding on to him.
In the struggle his girlfriend got out of the drivers seat and while I was fighting with the rest of them he slid into the drivers seat and threw the car in reverse. I knew by this point that he was going to run me over so I moved away and pulled my sidearm. His mother ran to the car and said something to him. As he put it in reverse he struck her with the vehicle I took aim at his head and prepared to take the shot. [The fugitive was not shot].
From a former Redditor, in regard to Duane "Dog" Chapman:
Yeah, I've met him, and he's a very bad example of how things run.
Yeah, he's very unprofessional. Plus (and not to sound conceited or anything), here in California where the big boys work (Nevada is another tough one), he couldn't even be licensed... He's been caught paying people to run from him, etc. Just all sorts of bad.
Generally, he's just a sketchy guy. I don't know all the details, but I know that there's almost no one in the field who likes him. I have a personal problem with him, as a former member of his team insulted my fiance pretty badly. Took all the control I had to not sucker punch the guy then and there.
From a former Redditor:
I was stabbed in the chest by a fugitive's friend. It missed my heart, barely, and scared me out of the business.
A former bounty hunter shared:
Once me and the boss were tracking a skip we called "The Grandma Stripper," as she was known for working a local strip club as part of a "grandmother/daughter/granddaughter" team.
She was arrested for prostitution, and we (shocker) found her at the club she was known to work. We waited for her to take a smoke break, and approached her. She immediately offered to blow both of us in exchange for her freedom, throwing in the enticement that she was "toof free." When it became apparent to her that neither of us were interested, she started yelling homosexual slurs and tried to climb into a nearby dumpster.
I grabbed her by the thong (ew), and slapped the cuffs on her. All the way to jail, she went back and forth between calling us names, and begging to give us "toof free" BJs in exchange for her freedom.
Months later, I saw her all dressed up in "church clothes" at a grocery store. She did not recognize me, thank goodness.