Sheriff's department launches internal investigation after deputies enter woman's home
Last Update: 4/01 8:58 pm
17 News discovered a youtube video of Kern County Sheriff's Deputies and a bail bonds enforcement officer entering a local woman's home after she told them they couldn't come in without a warrant and her consent. With the evidence she caught on tape, the law seems to be on her side.
"I don't need a warrant," the bondsman said as he appeared to enter on his own into the home from a back door on the youtube video.
There were also sheriff's deputies at the front door. Deputies and bail bond enforcement officials have different laws but a local bail bondsman not affiliate with this case said what happened in this case was against the law.
"If you see the person go in, you can go in," Glenn Pierce, the owner of Gotta Go Bail Bonds said. "But you just can't go in randomly."
The woman who lived at the home told 17 News her name is Star. She said she is in hiding because threats were made against her. She also said deputies and the bail bondsman violated her rights by forcing entry into her home after she stated she was the only one there.
Attorney H.A. Sala says based on the video evidence, the Sheriff's Department could have a lawsuit on its hands because of the way they forced into the home without any knowledge of the wanted person being in the home. "They have to knock, state a purpose, say they have a warrant and give time for the person to surrender," Sala said.
Authorities were looking for Joseph Baker who was arrested for battery on a peace officer in September. They were also looking for a man named Alan Gjurovich because he co-signed on Baker's bail bond which Baker forfeited by not showing up in court. Gjurovich is in hiding but spoke to 17 News by phone. He said the sheriff's department is trying to stop him from filing a lawsuit against the county that could damage county judge and clerks' credibility.
"They're trying to scare us out of town and out of the county," Gjurovich said. "The message I was getting, they were giving us a 48 hour ultimatum--give them what they want on Joe Baker or they will personally come down and arrest me."
Sheriff Donny Youngblood confirmed the deputies in the video are from the Kern County Sheriff's Department, but he said he can't comment because an internal affairs investigation is being launched.