‘I was just doing my job’: Parishioners frustrated over bounty hunter arrest at Huntsville church

Published: Mar. 14, 2019 at 10:44 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - A Huntsville church is upset with how an arrest by a local bounty hunter was made on their property. Grateful Life Community Church says the bail enforcement agent detained a guy in their parking lot. That bounty hunter says he was doing his job since the defendant was out on bond and missed his court hearing.

38-year-old Calvin Bledsoe was out on $2,500 bond for a felony assault charge. Bledsoe missed his 9 a.m. court hearing and was re-arrested by the ‘hunter’ just after 10:15 a.m.

“We were closing down our warming center and taking people home," explained Deacon Gary Jasper with Grateful Life. “I asked the guy, ‘Why y’all doing that? You can’t do that on this property.’ He showed me a paper and said he has the right to do that.”

WAFF 48 spoke to their legal team about the law pertaining to bounty hunter’s. We found out they have the legal right to detained those who they’ve provided a bond payment. Furthermore, we spoke with a local bounty hunter who says the only time they don’t make arrests are when defendants are in someone else’s custody or in the hospital.

In this case, Bledsoe was standing in the church parking and detained without incident.

“He was standing outside in an open parking lot from what I understand. So, the way I look at it, no special attention was required," said the Huntsville bounty hunter who wanted to remain anonymous. “If they’re out here in the public, we can go get them.”

Grateful life leaders say it’s all about communication. Jasper told 48 News they have a responsibility to protect guests on their property and did not know who the ‘hunter’ was or why he was there.

“All you have to do is say something instead of doing it foul and sneaky," said Jasper. “Homeless people out here, it’s bad enough they don’t have no place to go. When it gets cold we try to bring them in, but if they’re scared somebody is going to come and get them they aren’t going to come.”

According to Bledsoe’s bondsman, he gave them a fake address on top of missing his court hearing that morning. Authorities tell our newsroom Bledsoe also has a lengthy rap sheet that includes more assault charges.

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