Nearly a dozen bounty hunters swarmed a house in Phoenix Tuesday night, looking for a wanted man from Oklahoma, but instead found Joseph Yahner, the recently appointed police chief who previously spent 30 years serving in the force.
A woman at the Yahner residence made a call to 911 telling police dispatch, “Uh, we have, some, I don’t know if they’re bounty hunters or what they are, but they’re, uh, they just banged on our door, and they’re looking for somebody.”
The armed men from two bond-recovery companies apparently received an erroneous tip on Facebook that Roderick Battle – a fugitive wanted on drug charges – would be at that location.
“There were 11 people out here; one was an 11-year-old child that had on a toy gun belt,” Phoenix police Sgt. Trent Crump said about the group that showed up outside the police chief’s door.
According to the Daily Mail, at least one of the men allegedly banged on Yahner’s door and confronted the chief, demanding that he come outside. The bondsmen refused to leave after being told several times that the man they were looking for was not there.
Brent Farley, the owner of one of the bond-recovery companies, was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and criminal trespassing. According to a CBS report, Farley is a convicted felon, so he’s not legally permitted to own a handgun.
Police said the fugitive’s description — a black male who is 6’3” tall — ‘in no way’ matched anyone in Yahner’s home. They are now investigating whether or not this was just an honest mistake or a prank.