Tennessee bounty hunters locate fugitive in New York, leave empty-handed

Tennessee

HUDSON, NY (NEWS10) On Sunday, three female bond agents drove from Tennessee to the city of Hudson, NY to fetch a man who jumped bond after an arrest in Sevier County. Once the attempted apprehension turned violent, he was taken into custody by Hudson Police and the bond agents were sent home empty-handed.

Police said Randolph Baker, 51, was arrested mid-May in Sevier County, Tennessee for violating probation. He was allegedly found with an unregistered firearm while intoxicated. Bond Agents from AffordABail LLC, out of Tennessee, tell News10 he signed for $5,000 bond, then went back to New York.

Three licensed female bond agents from the company said when they attempted to apprehend him near his home on Allen Street he pulled a knife on them.

Officers from the Hudson Police Department were called in and said it immediately became a concern for public safety. “When we responded, we observed three females chasing around a male who originally appeared to be covered head to toe in blood, yelling at him. It was a pretty hectic situation,” said Sgt. Nicholas Hodges.

The red coloring was actually pepper spray, the only weapon the bond agents are allowed to use under New York State Law. Still, after eight hits of mace, Baker took off running. The chase running right through a reception at the Basilica, a popular wedding venue, with hundreds of guests.

Baker was eventually captured by Hudson Police officers who said they found four different knives in his pockets. He was taken into their custody and charged with Menacing and Felony Criminal Possession of a Weapon.

While the Bond Agents were appreciative of the police assistance, they told News10 they’re not thrilled they didn’t allow them to take Baker back to Tennessee. They said they were cleared by the State of New York ahead of time and said it’s the first time local authorities have stopped them from taking a fugitive. Instead, Baker was released from the Columbia County Jail on his own recognizance. 

“They had a valid arrest warrant for this man. Whether or not bail agents have jurisdiction to cross state lines and pick someone up I’m not sure,” said Sgt. Hodges.

Over the phone, the bail agents told News10 that they followed local, state and federal law. They said the city of Hudson Police knew they were there and had the warrant documentation, which Hudson Police confirmed. Hudson Police said, however, that it was a non-extradition warrant.

The Bond Agents said this was not a crime the state of Tennessee would pay to have a suspect extradited back for. Instead, because Baker was under bail enforcement, it was up to the bond company, who has full authority, to go pick him up. They said that information was included in the documentation provided.

Hudson Police said it’s very rare to encounter Bounty Hunters. The Chief said it’s only his second time in 38 years.

The Bond Agents tell News10, they’re prepared to return for Baker.

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