Bail bondsmen kick their way into wrong home

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Grand Rapids family barricaded themselves in a bedroom as they heard someone breaking down their front door in the middle of the night, thinking the strangers were trying to rob them.

It turns out it was bail bondsmen looking for a fugitive and they apparently had the wrong house.

“They kicked this hole in the door in an attempt to break down the door,” Demarkus Putnam said Wednesday, showing News 8 the damage. “All of these indents are attempts of him kicking the door in and they kicked the lock off the hinges.”

He went live on Facebook as it was happening, capturing the bondsmen on camera as they forced their way into the house off of Quigley Boulevard near S. Division Avenue.

Putnam’s girlfriend Emily Deleon was inside with her kids, who she said were crying in fear.

“They accused everyone in the house of harboring a fugitive,” Deleon said.

Putnam’s video shows the men rummaging through the home. They said they were looking for a woman named Latisha. Deleon said she doesn’t know anyone by that name and she told the men that. The family called police and the bondsmen finally left.

The family says the intrusion never should have happened.

“It needs to be stricter laws,” Putnam said. “I definitely want to press charges because this (expletive) is insane.”

In Michigan, like in many other states, laws pertaining to bondsmen and their actions when pursuing fugitives are gray for the most part. They do have more rights than the average person in certain circumstances.

Investigators at the Grand Rapids Police Department are working to determine if any laws were violated in this case.

Last year, two bounty hunters were charged with home invasion in Grand Rapids after they broke into a home with guns looking for a fugitive who did not live at that address. 

News 8 identified the lead bondsman in Putnam’s video. He declined to comment Wednesday.

“This is stuff that you see on the internet, not think you’d be a part of,” Putnam said.

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