In a spectacular misstep, bounty hunters raided the home of the Phoenix Police Chief and pulled a gun on him in early August. The bounty hunters had received a tip that an Oklahoma man wanted on drug charges was at the residence, but failed to do the proper background work to vet the situation.
Eleven bounty hunters watched the house for two hours and then stormed it, shining flashlights in the window and yelling for the fugitive to show himself. When Chief Joseph Yahner opened his door at 10 PM, bounty hunter Brent Farley confronted him with an unholstered gun and engaged in a verbal confrontation. Farley owns NorthStar Fugitive Recover in Mesa, Arizona, although he is not a licensed bounty hunter.
When police arrived on the scene, they found the 11 bounty hunters from two separate companies who had surrounded the house. Farley allegedly continued to give commands to Yahner and refused to leave the property even after the police arrived. Fortunately, another bounty hunter pulled him aside.
The police arrested Farley and charged him with criminal trespassing and disorderly conduct for his treatment of Chief Yahner. Farley is being held on a $2,500 bond and pleaded not guilty in Maricopa County Superior Court on October 2, 2015. His next court date will be on November 18.
Farley said that he does not expect to get a fair trial in an interview with the Arizona Republic. He also claimed that it didn’t matter that he lacked a license to be a bounty hunter, because other bounty hunters there were licensed. Farley also disputed the number of bounty hunters, saying that there were only seven of them plus his wife and 11-year old daughter.
Some high-profile bounty hunters such as the former president of the Arizona Bail Bondsman Association are questioning the level of training required for bounty hunters in the state. This egregious case could have had deadly consequences and could have been avoided if the bounty hunters had done their due diligence.