Bails Bondsman Abducts Customer at Gunpoint

Bondsman kidnaps customer for failure to pay off his debt.

A bail bondsman who allegedly abducted a customer at gunpoint and held him until he paid off a debt is slated to be arraigned on Friday in Riverside.

Damion Paul Perkins, 36, is charged with kidnapping for ransom, assault with a deadly weapon and using a firearm during a felony. He's being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Robert Presley Detention Center in downtown Riverside.

An investigation into the alleged abduction was initiated last month by the California Department of Insurance, which licenses bail agents. Officials said that in July of this year, Riverside-based Bail Bonds United, co-owned by Perkins, posted a bond for a man who failed to pay the up- front premium on the surety after being released from jail.

With the help of an unidentified male accomplice, Perkins went to the customer's residence on August 9 to collect the debt and allegedly ordered the victim out of his home at gunpoint in front of his children, authorities said.  Perkins allegedly handcuffed the man and placed him in the back of his vehicle, then drove around, demanding that the victim come up with assets to cover the unpaid premium.

Officals alleged, the man eventually obtained additional money and illegal drugs from his family, which he turned over to Perkins as payment, prompting the defendant to release him.

If convicted, Perkins could face life in prison without the possibility of parole.

"Bail bond agents must abide by the law when they collect payments from customers -- and they definitely may not kidnap their clients at gunpoint, or else they will wind up behind bars, requiring the services of their own bail bond agent," said California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner earlier this week.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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