Fresno police are investigating the shooting Tuesday of a 38-year-old man who was fired on by a bail recovery agent as the suspect reportedly drove at the agent while bail agents were trying to take him into custody.
Gilbert Uribe Jr. was stuck in the leg when the agent fired four rounds at him, Chief Jerry Dyer said Wednesday.
At issue are the circumstances surrounding the shooting, including whether the agents, known in popular jargon as bounty hunters, notified police that they were trying to apprehend Uribe, who was sought on felony child abuse charges.
The wound was non-life threatening, and Uribe now faces a charge of assault with a deadly weapon, Dyer said.
According to the California Penal Code, bail agents are required to notify police before attempting to take an abscounding suspect into custody, “except under exigent circumstances.”
Dyer said the investigation will determine whether the agents completed the notification or whether it was necessary. The incident took place as two agents were surveilling a house in the 1500 block of West Oleander Avenue.
The incident took place shortly before 6:30 p.m. Dyer said two agents were watching a home where they believed Uribe was staying when they were joined by three more agents. They saw Uribe trying to leave in a car, and an agent blocked the driveway. A short time later, Uribe reportedly drove at one agent, who fired the four rounds at Uribe’s car, striking Uribe.
Dyer said there remains some question whether bail agents need to notify police if they are only conducting surveillance. But police are trying to determine if a call was made to police before Uribe tried to flee.
Uribe reportedly told officers that he was paranoid and did not know who the men outside the home were.
Bail recovery agents are allowed to carry firearms in the course of their duties, Dyer said. Under the law, they are not allowed to pass themselves off as police officers.