UPDATE (9/30/15): The men with the guns were U.S. Marshals, who said they were in fear for their lives because the man with the phone could have had a gun, according to WMC Action News 5 in Memphis.
A Tennessee man had a gun pointed at him by a man who appears to have been a bail bondsman while he was video recording them arresting his nephew Tuesday morning.
The video was uploaded to Facebook by a man named Cartesian Bay Wright, who stated the following:
This happened today in East Memphis Tn, they just took this post off Facebook so nobody could see it but ima keep posting it and y’all keep sharing it they locked my nephew up and was pointing the gun at me and his pregnant baby mother
The armed men appear to be bails bondsman because none of them are wearing uniforms and they place the handcuffed man into a family minivan instead of a patrol car.
However, one of the men was carrying a shield that said “police” on it.
But bails bondsmen in Tennessee – a state that does not require bondsmen to be licensed – have been known to play loose with the rules.
Earlier this month, police caught Richard Lapenna in Mt. Juliet and Spring Hill pretending to be an officer.
“The thing y’all don’t know as of yet is he actually works for bonds companies,” said Lt. Justin Whitwell with Spring Hill police.
Investigators said Lapenna was another bounty hunter with a false sense of entitlement.
“We don’t know how legitimate they really are. That’s why he thought, hey, I’ve got some law enforcement powers, which he does not at all,” Whitwell said.
Charles White Sr., president of the Tennessee Association of Professional Bail Agents, said the organization needs to clean up its own house.
“We need some more legislation,” White said.
The I-Team learned eight states outlaw bounty hunters all together, while 15 require bounty hunters to have licenses.
Tennessee does not. Here, bounty hunters must get a background check and complete eight hours of continuing education each year.
“There is no license,” White said.
However, it does not appear that at anytime during the eight hours of “continuing education” each year do they train bounty hunters not to point guns at people unless they intend to kill them – which is the first thing any gun owner should learn.
The man they were arresting is Bobby Gibbs who apparently was wanted on several felonies, judging by information from the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, which is posted in a screenshot below.