Alex_Schmidt/iStock/ThinkStock(PHOENIX) — A man jailed after a case of mistaken identity involving bounty hunters and a police chief is defending himself in connection to the subsequent confrontation that landed him behind bars in Arizona.
“Part of the process is knocking on doors,” Brent Farley, who isn’t a licensed bounty hunter, told ABC affiliate KNXV-TV from a Phoenix jailhouse. “There are times when the person is not there. There are times when they haven’t been there for a couple years and the information we have is bad.
“Again, the reason why we are here isn’t because of the door knock, but because of who answered the door,” Farley added.
The incident began Tuesday when an anonymous tip on Facebook about a supposed fugitive led Farley and several bounty hunters to the home of Phoenix Chief of Police Joseph Yahner.
The bounty hunters were looking for a 310-pound black man who was wanted on drug charges. Instead, the armed bounty hunters arrived at the home of Yahner, who is white.
“We have some — I don’t know if they’re bounty hunters or what they are,” the police chief’s girlfriend told 911 dispatchers. “They just banged on our door and they’re looking for somebody.”
The situation escalated, and police said Farley was the aggressor. Police said Farley had his handgun unholstered during the confrontation outside Yahner’s home and refused to leave the property.
“Even after the situation had been deescalated, one of them wouldn’t leave and demanded the chief identify himself, even though the man they were looking for was a heavy-set black man,” Phoenix Police Sgt. Trent Crump said.
But Farley said, “When the chief opened the door, he was aggressive. I backed off.”
The Phoenix Police Department and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and ABC News has been unable to reach Farley.
Farley was charged with trespassing and disorderly conduct. He has not yet entered a plea.
Farley told KNXV, “At no time did I point a weapon at anybody.”
“If I knew the police lived at that house, we never would have knocked on that door,” Farley told KNXV. “It doesn’t make sense.”
But officials said Farley, who is considered an account manager at Northstar Fugitive Recovery, shouldn’t have been at Yahner’s in the first place because he isn’t a licensed bounty hunter and his business isn’t licensed.
“I do not have a license as a bounty hunter in Arizona,” Farley told KNXV. “But other people on scene do, and if a suspect was there and an arrest was made, it would be someone else, not me.”
For Farley, this incident is making him swear off the bounty hunter business.
“I’m getting out of the business after this,” he said.
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