PHOENIX (Reuters) - A bounty hunter was arrested after gathering a posse and mistakenly trying to raid the home of Phoenix’s chief of police, officials said on Wednesday.
Brent Farley, 43, and 10 others surrounded Chief Joseph Yahner’s home around 10 p.m. local time on Tuesday, thinking they were cornering an Oklahoma fugitive wanted on a drug charge, the department said in a statement.
Police said the bounty hunters were told they had the wrong address and were asked to leave numerous times.
The department said Farley, who confronted the chief after banging on the door and demanding he come outside, was carrying a handgun at the time, as were several others.
A video of the incident provided by police showed Chief Yahner, clad only in his underwear, stepping outside his home with a baton in his hand and approaching the bounty hunters. Phoenix police spokesman Trent Crump said there was no physical altercation.
Crump said eight of the individuals were men and the three others were women, including a relative of one of the men who was riding along and an 11-year-old girl who was wearing a toy gun belt.
The bondsmen were working on behalf of two bond recovery companies, NorthStar Fugitive Recovery and Delta One Tactical Recovery, police said, and appeared to have acted on an unconfirmed tip on the suspect’s location from social media.
Farley was charged with disorderly conduct and criminal trespassing. Crump said additional charges against the 10 others were possible as well as for Farley, who is a felon.
The recovery firms could not be immediately reached for comment. But a posting by NorthStar on its Facebook account earlier on Tuesday asked for tips as to the location of the fugitive, a black man. Yahner is white.
Reporting by David Schwartz in Phoenix; Writing by Curtis Skinner; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Eric Walsh