Bounty Hunters Involved In SW OKC Standoff Could Face Charges

Wednesday, October 29th 2014, 5:49 pm

Bounty Hunters trying to pick up a felon could now face felony charges themselves.

Police are looking into a number of laws the three alleged bounty hunter may have broken during a shootout Tuesday morning in southwest Oklahoma City. The clearest violation would be a new law that requires bounty hunters be trained and licensed. However, that law doesn't take effect until next year.

The shootout sent a nearby school into lockdown, a suspect into hiding and bullets flying into a home across the street where a man and his 14-year-old daughter slept.

“I heard some glass breaking and I got up and that's when I heard another series of gunshots,” said William Sneed, who was in the house.

Police say it all started when three armed alleged bounty hunters showed up at Anthony Bruce's home.

“We're currently continuing our investigation to find out what laws they may have broken,” said Capt. Dexter Nelson Wednesday afternoon.

10/28/2014 Related Story: Bounty Hunters Investigated After Shootout With Suspect Leads To Standoff

“Anything could have happened at that point. You could have had a ricochet bullet, could have had someone sleeping next door that got shot. Those are the kinds of things you could avoid with this law,” said Sen. Ralph Shortey, who is behind the new regulations on bounty hunters.

Shortey realized there was a problem after some bounty hunters burst into a Midwest City apartment in 2011 and held a family hostage for two hours before realizing they had the wrong guy. The new law requires bounty hunters to go through training and be licensed.

“When you're dealing with something like this that directly affects the public safety, and the public safety of my neighbors and my children, they need to be trained. They need to do things properly,” said Shortey.

However, the licensing regulations don't take effect until February 2015. Still, police say they are looking at a number of crimes the bounty hunters may have committed.

“We have found no information that they even have concealed carry permits,” said Nelson.

Those bounty hunters could also be civilly liable for any damage.