A man wanted in St. Bernard Parish on numerous outstanding warrants was captured in Alabama over the weekend by a bounty hunter, but when the fugitive recovery agent brought the suspect back to Southeast Louisiana, he claims jail officials refused to take the defendant.
“We sat there for like two hours trying to figure out why they weren’t taking him,” said Wayne Lozier.
Lozier with Bayou Boys Fugitive Recovery is a hired bounty hunter, tasked with locating wanted fugitives and ensuring they make their court appearance, in turn he receives a monetary reward from the courts.
On Saturday Lozier and his partner traveled to Alabama and captured Edward Dotson, wanted for felony domestic abuse and other attachments out of St. Bernard. Lozier claims jail officials in St. Bernard refused to give him a proper explanation as to why they couldn’t take Dotson into custody.
“We left with so many questions,” said Lozier. “And with Dotson, he’s dangerous to the community, he’s dangerous to anybody and they just wouldn’t take him.”
After making some phone calls, the New Orleans Police Department agreed to arrest Dotson and take him into custody, only to transfer him to St. Bernard Parish the next day where he was booked on numerous attachments.
According to a jail spokesperson, they refused to take Dotson initially, because he didn’t have the proper paperwork following a supposed seizure he suffered during transport, and because, at the time, he appeared to be under the influence.
“Claimed he had a seizure in my vehicle, so we had to stop at Slidell Memorial Hospital where the doctors there cleared him and said he was faking his illness,” Lozier said.
Correctional facilities do have some discretion when it comes to accepting or denying inmates, that includes, medical. But bail bondsman Steve Donnes with Statewide Bail Bonds said those reasons are becoming the norm, rather than the exception.
“We’re then in jeopardy, we’ve transported a man across two states, what do you do with him, he’s a wanted felon?” Donnes said.
Donnes said the truth is, the system is broken and fugitives like Dotson are being allowed to “slip through the cracks” and avoid prosecution.
“If we don’t go hunt them down, who will?” said Donnes.
According to Statewide Bail Bonds there are approximately 100,000 unserved warrants out of Orleans Parish and another 80,000 in Jefferson.
In 2010, New Orleans Police Chief Ronal Serpas said the majority of unserved warrants were for relatively minor matters, such as unpaid traffic tickets and the departments warrant division was all but dissolved.