published Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

Lawsuit alleges family was held at gunpoint by bondsmen posing as police officers

Schreane Complaint against Platinum Bonding
Schreane Complaint against Platinum Bonding

A family has filed a lawsuit seeking $800,000 against a local bail bonding company after three men showed up a their home and identified themselves as police and held them at gunpoint while searching for a suspect with an open warrant.

Carlos Jones and two other unidentified men representing Platinum Bonding reportedly arrived in SUVs equipped with blue lights and clad with body armor.

A woman, Patricia Ann Schreane, opened the door at a residence on Shepherd Road, after one of the men said something to the effect, “This is the police, open up or we will kick in the door,” a six-page complaint filed in Hamilton County Circuit Court states.

The men reportedly forced their way into the residence pointing a gun at an 8-year-old grandchild of the Schreanes and placed him face down on the front porch. Schreane and Clarence Schreane were also ordered to the ground at gunpoint. A 6-year-old grandchild was also home at the time.

The Schreanes had just had guests leave, who the men had reportedly detained on the front porch in handcuffs, before knocking on the door.

“Jones searched the entire interior of the plaintiff’s residence, calling out for a person. Jones never found the person,” the complaint states.

The men were looking for Schreane’s daughter, Chirika Andriea Alexander, who is listed on Hamilton County’s most wanted list, and is wanted for theft and numerous probation violations including: forgery and passing worthless checks. She also reportedly failed to appear on charges including: aggravated child abuse and child neglect, leaving the scene of an accident with damage.

The family asked the men for a warrant. They also asked for police identification.

“When the three individual defendants failed to produce police identification, Clarence got onto his feet, told them to leave and that he was calling police,” the complaint states.

When they couldn’t show identification, they departed in the SUVs and peeled out.

“The complaint speaks for itself. These bondsmen are held to a higher standard if not a higher standard than police officers. They act as agents of the sheriff’s office to go out and get people,” said Robin Flores, an attorney who filed the suit.

Platinum Bonding was sold to Chad Copeland last week. When Jones, who previously owned bonding company, was reached by phone, he said he was unaware of the lawsuit.

“We didn’t even go out to it and I don’t know nothing about it,” Jones said.

Contact staff writer Beth Burger at bburger@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6406. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/abburger.

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