Bounty hunter bungle leads to their own criminal charges - WSMV News 4

Bounty hunter bungle leads to their own criminal charges

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Hugo Salido points out where bounty hunters were outside his home. (WSMV) Hugo Salido points out where bounty hunters were outside his home. (WSMV)
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Five bounty hunters face charges of aggravated trespassing and vandalism after police believe bad information led them to terrorize a North Nashville family.

On March 27, Hugo Salido saw the motion detector lights go off after midnight and saw five people approach his south Nashville home.

“All dressed in dark colored clothes. Black. I could tell they had body armor on,” Salido said.

When the repeated pounding began, he began to record on his cell phone while hiding with two young sons into the bathroom.

Salido shared the recording with the News4 I-Team, in which you can hear the repeated banging on the doors throughout the house.

At one point, a man’s voice can be heard calling out Salido’s name.

Knowing there was no warrant out for his arrest and that the people wore nothing to indicate they were police, Salido stayed silent and kept recording.

Salido said when he did call 911, he quickly hung up before an operator could answer and kept recording when he saw a flashlight shine on his back door.

“I heard metal on metal, and I saw the flashlight focus right there on the door. And I heard them breaking in,” Salido said. “I thought that was my last recording in this world.”

When the pounding later stopped, Salido said he could hear the people outside saying they would get find him.

He later found that they had cut the cord to the heating system and did more than $9,943 to his windows and doors to try and get in.

Salido said he flew in his mother to take his sons to an undisclosed location and then went to police, wanting to verify that there was no warrant out for his arrest.

When they confirmed there was no warrant, he asked for an investigation into who had damaged his home.

Salido then learned that police had, in fact, come to his home that night, when someone called 911 to report a commotion, including a woman screaming, at his home.

When police arrived, they found five bounty hunters, including a female.

They also found a car owned by David Fletcher Jr., a convicted criminal who is featured on YouTube teaching how to be a bounty hunter.

Metro Police spokeswoman Kris Mumford said the bounty hunters indicated they were looking for missing people who also had warrants out for their arrests.

Mumford said after police knocked on Salido’s door but no one came to the door, the officers left.

Salido said he does not remember hearing police come to the door, believing that he may have been too frightened to venture out of the bathroom at that point.

Mumford said when questioned by police, Fletcher said he got a phone number he thought was linked to the people he was looking for.

Mumford said Fletcher told police the person who gave him the number verified it on a website, and when he Googled the number, it came back to Salido Jewelers.

Police believe Fletcher then gathered the other bounty hunters and tracked down Salido at his home.

Salido used to own a jewelry store and suspects his old phone number was later then used by one of the people the bounty hunters were searching for.

“They operate without impunity. With very little training. With very little overnight,” Salido said.

Fletcher and the four other bounty hunters are charged with aggravated criminal trespassing and vandalism.

Fletcher’s attorney said she could not comment at this time.

The News4 I-Team reached out to the other bounty hunters and those who responded also said they could not comment.

State law reads that bounty hunters must make a good faith effort to verify the person's address and tell police in advance when the attempted apprehension will occur.

Mumford said there is not a record of the bounty hunters calling the police.

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