Thursday, November 25, 2010
So, we went out Saturday night to get a guy with seven warrants out of Tennessee. We'd been checking some areas where his rental car had been located, but didn't see it anywhere. We had an insider at the hospital where his wife had just had a premature baby, who was now in intensive care.
The guy called us at 2305 and said the guy was there, so we headed out and got there at 2325. Pretty good time.We checked the parking garage and surrounding streets for the car our intel said he was supposedly driving. It wasn't there, so we waited outside the hospital, because we didn't want to rattle too many cages by going in and causing a ruckus right in the preemie ward.
Eventually a couple came out and the man looked kinda like the photo we had of our fugitive. Couldn't tell for certain, but we followed the truck anyway and he was going towards one of the areas we had checked previously. Finally, he stopped at a gas station and got out, and sure enough, it was our guy. So we took him there at the window (this was about 0100 Sunday morning) and transported him to IRC (Inmate Reception Center) at the L.A. County Jail in downtown.
A brief interjection about IRC. They have a lot of policies and procedures in place for bond surrenders. Forms to fill out, things to sign, mysterious bureaucratic back-room things to be done, and you even have to call someone and get permission to surrender the prisoner. The fastest I've seen all this happen was an hour and a half, and I was ecstatic to be done that fast. Normal is at least 2 and a half hours, and can be as much as 4. Here's the kicker: they're so confused over there about what to do with the whole situation that every time I turn someone in, the procedures are different. EVERY TIME.
Well, back to our new friend. This time, the difference was that they now told us they couldn't accept a surrender for an out-of-state warrant. Never mind that the warrant specified that Tennessee would extradite. Never mind that we surrendered a guy on an out-of-state warrant just two weeks ago. They wouldn't take him. This was now 0200.So now our choice was to let him go or take him to Tennessee.
We called the bondsman in Tennessee and got him to commit to more money, and by the time we got situated (had to get Miss M out of bed and meet her across L.A.) it was 0300. Then it was non-stop except for gas and food, all the way to Nashville. Thirty-five hours because we kept mostly to the speed limit. We got there and bought our boy a beer to calm him down. We'd heard his story along the way and, although scumbags get good at lying, I think he was telling the truth. He kinda got screwed.
No matter, though, because whatever the original offense was, what I'm enforcing is the contract he willingly signed with the bondsman. So we met the bondsman at his office right across the street from the jail, and his partner walked us over to show us where to surrender the guy.Now here's the perfect end to a hard trip: Remember how I said it's a pain in the neck to surrender a fugitive in L.A.? In Nashville it took one minute. Not a single form to fill out, paper to sign, or BS to deal with. We took him through the door, told the officer his name, and waited for him to (a) put his cuffs on the guy and give us ours back and (b) check the computer system to find the guy's warrants. That was it. One. Frickin'. Minute.
Now, remember where I said I left really quickly when I got the got the call our fugitive was at the hospital? Well, I had no idea I'd be spending four days in a car, so I didn't have anything with me. Same socks, same underwear, same T-shirt with body armor over it. After we surrendered the guy I could have bought something, but at that point why bother?
Anyway, we slept a bit on the way back, but still did it in two days. Too much to do.