A pair of bounty hunters pleaded guilty after being arrested earlier this year when they tried to make an apprehension on a Montgomery County high school’s property.
An 18-year-old man and his girlfriend were in his pickup truck March 15 when a black van pulled in from of them and a man with a gun stepped out. They drove away but were stopped by a second car and confronted by a man dressed in black and wearing a ski mask, who yelled, “If you run, you’ll die,” according to court documents.
He fired a Taser into the truck, but missed the occupants. At some point, someone also fired a BB gun at the victims, missing again.
The victims fled again. They called police and drove to Quince Orchard High School, thinking their pursuers wouldn’t follow them on to school property.
Teachers told police that as they helped special needs students on to their buses, they saw the truck pull up followed by a car with a man pointing a gun.
“He was following them well within his duties,” defense attorney John Pikulski said. “That person entered the school. He is not familiar with the area. He unknowingly entered the school property.”
Quince Orchard and four other schools in the area were locked down while police arrested 28-year-old Clemente Balsera and 27-year-old Jonathan Vargas Fuentes, who at first told police they were federal agents. Inside the car, police found a Taser, a BB gun modified to look like a real gun and a police scanner.
Balsera and Fuentes were independent contractors hired by a bail bonds company to apprehend the driver of the truck, who failed to appear in court on a marijuana charge.
The two recovery agents pleaded guilty to assault and having a deadly weapon on school grounds. They were sentenced to three years suspended and 18 months of probation.
“Bail bondsmen and recovery agents are an important part of the criminal justice system,” said Ramon Korionoff of the Montgomery County State’s Attorney Office. “They help keep the cases flowing, keep people coming to court after they’ve failed to appear, but in this particular case they stepped over the line when they brought weapons on to school property and used them.”