Judicial magistrate has run-in with bounty hunters

PULASKI, TN (WSMV) -Imagine how scary it would be to wake up to the sound of armed men pounding on your door. One Middle Tennessee judicial magistrate said that happened to him last week for no good reason.

Judicial Magistrate Charles Chapman prides himself on doing everything by the book, so when someone started banging on his door at 4:55 a.m. in rural Giles County, he tried to keep his head.

“He said, ‘law enforcement.’ I said, ‘law enforcement, which agency?’ But he just said, ‘law enforcement,'” Chapman said.

Chapman went to the backdoor to get his shoes. That’s when he then saw another man standing in his backyard and became really scared.

“I started thinking, ‘what the hell is going on here,'” Chapman said.

So, Chapman grabbed his coyote gun and stood his ground. The man in the back yard ran. Chapman then went back to the front door, where he was ordered to put down his gun.

Law enforcement soon arrived, and the men identified themselves to Giles County sheriff’s deputies as bounty hunters looking for the Chapmans’ son. Deputies found what looked like an assault rifle in the bounty hunters’ car.

But Chapman said his son was kicked out of the house more than a year ago for drug use. In fact, the magistrate has surrendered his own son twice before.

“All law enforcement knows I’m not going to hide him,” Chapman said.

As a judicial magistrate, Chapman spends a lot of time reviewing criminal law, and he now thinks he has found something he believes the bounty hunters committed – criminal law enforcement impersonation.

“They are careless here. They’re under trained, and they’re definitely liars. The ones who came to my house are common liars,” Chapman said.

The case is still under investigation. The bounty hunters were supposed make official police statements last week, but they never showed up.

The Chapmans said they may seek civil charges as well.


ADDED: We posted this story to point out the frighteningly unregulated industry of Bounty Hunters in the state in TN. That too is a problem we have taken issue with in the past. Bounty Hunters are notorious for being more careless and less cautious than even the worst-trained-cops could ever be. Many are ex-convicts themselves, convicted felons. And in the case of one local Nashville Bounty Hunter a disgraced ex-cop.


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