Nevada law requires prospective bounty hunters to pass a two-week, 80-hour, class that includes a day of firearms training at a local shooting range. Watch Investigative Reporter Mark Sayre's must-see Bounty Hunter School Part 2.Sound off on our bounty hunter BLOG!More>>
Over the past several months the I-Team has been uncovering problems with local bounty hunters. Investigative Reporter Mark Sayre has the latest problem that almost ended with someone getting shot. More>>
A local bounty hunter is under arrest -- and charged with three felonies -- after an incident first reported by the Channel 8 Eyewitness News I-Team. It happened at an adult nightclub in January.More>>
They are officially called bail enforcement agents, but many call them "bounty hunters." The Channel 8 I-Team has learned of two local incidents where bystanders -- people not wanted by the bounty hunters -- have been injured as the bounty hunters looked for clients who have skipped bail. More>>
Imagine being maced in your own home in the middle of the night and not being able to do anything about it. It happened to one local man and his relatives who called police only to find out that no law had been broken. The I-Team's Mark Sayre has the results of a month-long investigation. More>>
A local bounty hunter is defending his actions after an I-Team investigation. He says neither he nor his employees did anything wrong when they entered a private home prompting multiple calls to 911. More>>
All of this started after a sexual assault suspect.. Used a bail bonds company to gain freedom. The Three local men who tried to bring an accused sex offender to justice are now behind bars in El Salvador. More>>
Bounty hunters -- Nevada law gives them wide latitude to enter private property -- even your home -- while doing their jobs. Over the past several months the Eyewitness News I-Team has been uncovering problems with the local bounty hunting industry.
Art Dias was shot with a 'beanbag gun' as a bounty hunter was making an arrest. Dias is a maintenance man at a local night club. And Frank Smyth is a retired member of local law enforcement. Smyth was armed with two handguns -- and says he almost shot the bounty hunters who came to his door late at night dressed in all black.
So what does it take to become a bounty hunter -- technically called a Bail Enforcement Agent -- in Nevada? You have to have a clean record and pass a drug test. You also have to pass a two-week class which is required by the state.
"I want to welcome everybody to the class," instructor Doug Noad tells the group of eight prospective bounty hunters. It may look like just another day in just another classroom at the Community College of Southern Nevada campus in Henderson. But these students are not learning reading, writing, nor arithmetic.
They are learning to be bounty hunters -- at least that's what most people will call them. "There are still a lot of people out here in the field today that like to be called bounty hunters. It's an image... it's on TV," Noad tells his class.
Among the most popular shows is "Dog the Bounty Hunter." Shows like this are glamorizing the industry and students like Penelope Winkler say she is inspired by Duane "Dog" Chapman. "To see him and his family go out and do these things together and that's what I want to do for me and my family," Winkler said.
But student Joel Carlson takes the opposite view. "I know he means well but sometimes it just does not seem that it is bringing a good light to the business," Carlson said.
Instructor Doug Noad is a 12-year veteran of the bail industry. He tells students what they are learning today is deadly serious. "Because if you kick a door in to get somebody and they are not in that house -- you have committed a felony. It is called home invasion," Noad said.
Up until 1997, bounty hunters did not have to have any formal training at all to work in Nevada. That's when a new state law (NRS 697.177) mandated this class to try to clean up the industry. During 80-hours of required instruction, students learn about constitutional law, bail law, civil liability, report writing, the care and custody of prisoners, and the principles of investigation.
The class also teaches real world tactics like the use of force. Instructor Nick Walling is a 20-year veteran of the Henderson Police Department. On this day he is teaching handcuff techniques. The students then get their chance to show what they have learned.
Back in the classroom, Noad tries to impress upon his students to always be professional. Talking about a hypothetical call, Noad told the class, "Is your son at home? OK, hang up the phone, then take 18 people out there all 'tac'd out' to arrest somebody. It's not done. It's stupid."
The industry itself says it supported the requirement for this class to try to help increase professionalism and cut down on problems. Practicing bounty hunters say they, too, want to weed out the so-called 'bad apples' so they don't tarnish the reputation of the entire industry.
According to a survey conducted by the American Bail Coalition, Nevada is one of 11 states that require a licence to practice as a bounty hunter. Seven states, however, outlaw bounty hunters all together.
Monday, September 1 2014 6:06 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:06:07 GMT
Some medical providers say they often deal with Hispanic patients who are afraid to seek medical care. In some cases, it has to do with a language barrier, but in most cases, it is fear among undocumented immigrants that they could end up being deported. More>>
Some medical providers say they often deal with Hispanic patients who are afraid to seek medical care. It's hoped the opening of a new medical clinic will change that.
Monday, September 1 2014 5:58 PM EDT2014-09-01 21:58:50 GMT
The three-day holiday weekend ended with visitors crowding the airport and freeways as they made their way back home. According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Association, around 313,000 people visited Las Vegas over the Labor Day weekend. More>>
The three-day holiday weekend ended with visitors crowding the airport and freeways as they made their way back home.
Monday, September 1 2014 5:51 PM EDT2014-09-01 21:51:43 GMT
Tens of thousands of people bid farewell to summer by enjoying Lake Mead for Labor Day weekend. While there were a few minor rescues, DUI's and boating incidents, the vast majority of people had some fun in the sun. More>>
Tens of thousands of people bid farewell to summer by enjoying Lake Mead for Labor Day weekend. While there were a few minor rescues, DUI's and boating incidents, the vast majority of people had some fun in the sun.