Bail Bondsmen Shooting Highlights Dangers Of Being A Bail Recovery Agent, Bounty Hunter

23 ABC Talks To Local Bounty Hunters About Dangers

A bail bondsman is the person who finances a bail bond for someone who is in jail.

Usually, things go according to plan: The defendent goes to court and pays his bond.

But sometimes, that does not happen. That's when the bail bond company can ask law enforcement to arrest the fugitive, or it hires a recovery agent. The danger lies in the job of the recovery agent, often known as a bounty hunter.

"We've been shot at. We've had bats pulled out on us. We've had people try to run us over with cars," said bail recovery agent Keith Church.

"There's always dangers when you're going to recover somebody," said Patrio Bail Bonds owner Amanda Esposito. "This person does not want to go to jail, obviously. They didn't want to be there. That's why they bonded out. They didn't want to go to court, so no, they don't want to be there, and you should anticipate danger any time you're going to recover somebody."

That is why recovery agents like Church carry weapons.

"We carry guns, mace, a taser. Some of us wear vests. Always carry a gun, because you never know what will happen," said Church.

And they always have backup, according to bailbond protocol.

"Make sure you're not alone. Always have people there to assist you, whether it be other recovery agents or the authorities. Always be prepared for something bad to happen," said Esposito.

While most recoveries are peaceful, bail bondsmen and recovery agents are always cautious.

"A lot of times, you get a sense of it from their charges, if they have a past history of violence and things of that nature," said Esposito.

Agents said recoveries happen at all hours of the day.

"The majority of them happen early morning or late at night. The majority of time people are home sleeping. It makes it easier, less of a chance they'll run," said Esposito.

"You have to love to do this job because it doesn't pay much. It's very dangerous. You have to sit out of people's house a long time," said Church.

So to hear of Brandon and Zachary Sim's deaths is hard. "It shouldn't have happened. I've met these two, and they're really nice people. It's really hard to think of it happening because we go out there and do it. We have families, and now their dad is mourning a loss," said Church.