Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Bondsman Gets Suspect With a Little Help

A Blount County bounty hunter got his man Monday night, but not until after Oak Ridge police were contacted and an unidentified citizen provided a little help.

Oak Ridge police reports said officers were sent to the Grove Center about 6:30 p.m. Monday, after someone reported shots being fired in the shopping center.

When officers arrived, they found a Blount County bail bondsman armed with two weapons: a handgun and a shotgun.

Christopher Harwell, a Blount County bondsman, told officers he was trying to apprehend a suspect and had fired a bean bag projectile at a man. He told officers the suspect was wanted on outstanding Blount County warrants.

The suspect, identified as Daniel Eric Reynolds, 24, 250 Jefferson Ave., was taken into custody after Harwell shot him at least once with the "less lethal ammunition." Reports said Reynolds was knocked to the ground, but got up and tried to run away again.

Harwell reportedly told police he followed Reynolds to Oak Ridge and fired the bean bag at him when he ran. He said he shot Reynolds once in the right side, knocking him down.

At that point, an unidentified person kept Reynolds from running until Harwell took him into custody.

Officer Karen Jenkins emptied the bounty hunter's weapons for safety and requested his papers that authorized the arrest.

Reports said Harwell's shotgun was loaded with two 12-gauge slugs and one 12-gauge buckshot shell, in addition to the bean bag ammo.

Jenkins reported that Harwell had the proper paperwork to apprehend Reynolds, but did not have papers pertaining to his bonding status, his weapon-carry permit, and his use of "less lethal" implements.

The bounty hunter told Jenkins he would have that paperwork faxed to the police department.

The officer's report indicates the incident won't be closed until the bondsman's paperwork has been received and she reviews the incident with the district attorney general's office.

Records do not indicate the charges Reynolds faces in Blount County. He has a criminal history in Anderson County and ended a prison sentence in August 2007.

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