Three Bristol bondsmen have been arrested after allegedly kidnapping an innocent Blountville resident — even after police warned they were pursuing a man who was not wanted.
According to police reports published in May by the Times-News, the bondsmen visited the alleged victim's home numerous times, with Sullivan County deputies telling them to leave the man alone.
Yet they returned the next day, cuffed the victim and refused to let him dial 911. The bondsmen then transported the man to Hawkins County, where jailers reiterated the position of Sullivan County police: There are no warrants for his arrest.
The suspects, who presented themselves as working for Badd Boyz Bonding, were indicted Aug. 24 on sealed presentments, then arrested on Wednesday. The capias for each arrest stipulates Badd Boyz, its agents or employees can't post their bonds.
Anthony Story Jr., 41, of 226 Basham Hill Road, Bristol, Tenn., and Clyde A. Collins, 23, of 511 Queen St., Bristol, Tenn., turned themselves in at the Sheriff's Office. Marvin Lee Keeling, 42, of 167 Honaker Drive, Bristol, Tenn., was arrested at his home. Their initial court appearances are set for Sept. 24.
Each of the men are charged with kidnapping, destruction of and tampering with government records, two counts of burglary and two counts of assault. Bond for the men was set at $50,000 each, which was posted by bonding agency's other than Badd Boyz.
The incident allegedly began on Sunday, May 23, at the Hawk Street home of Ryan Wayne Shealy, 30. Shealy told police the men produced a search warrant, saying they were searching for Ben Blevins.
Shealy told the Times-News that Blevins — who was wanted in Hawkins County for identity theft — lived at the residence before he bought it a year ago.
Both Shealy and the Sheriff's Office report the bondsmen were showed multiple forms of ID, including a birth certificate. The bondsmen then contacted the Sheriff's Office and returned to Shealy's home with deputies.
"Officers advised the bonding company that Ryan was not Ben Blevins and all parties left," reads the police report.
"That was unnerving, but I had a feeling they were going to come back," Shealy told the Times-News.
Shealy claims that later Sunday morning he saw one of the bondsmen outside his home, writing down his car's license plate number. Then, at about 1 a.m. Monday, the same three men were back at his door, demanding to again search his home.
"I said, 'You've already been in my house, you've already invaded my privacy,'" recalled Shealy. "'It's done, I've had enough, and don't want you guys coming in.'"
But according to Shealy and police records, the bondsmen weren't deterred. They cuffed Shealy and refused to let him call 911.
"They said, 'You can come peacefully or you can go in cuffed — either way you're going to Hawkins County,'" said Shealy.
After once again rummaging through his home, according to Shealy, the bondsmen loaded him up and embarked on a two hour drive from Blountville to Rogersville. Shealy said he tried to pass the time with casual conversation, but to no avail.
"They took back roads," Shealy said. "(A bondsman) had some sort of GPS on his phone and was all over the place. And he wasn't driving that safely, either."
"These guys weren't that bright. In the conversation (to Hawkins County) they would call each other different names other than their real names. I don't know why they did that."
Once at the Hawkins County Jail, according to the Sullivan County police report, the bondsmen were told what deputies had relayed the previous day: "Ryan is not Ben Blevins."
"I tried to cooperate to fullest extent," Shealy said. "They were just so hungry to take me in."
Adding insult to the fiasco, SCSO Det. Kevin Morrell said the bondsmen then left Shealy in Hawkins County, refusing to transport him home.
"It's messed up," Shealy told the Times-News of his ordeal, adding the sanctuary of his home was invaded.
"These guys were just out to get paid. I think they just wanted to bring someone in."comments powered by Disqus