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Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Nathan Hingson Bail bond agent opened fire while trying to pull a woman from her pickup Friday

bail bond agent who opened fire while trying to pull a woman from her pickup Friday has a history of being disciplined by state regulators, and wasn't dressed to clearly identify himself as somebody who could make an arrest.Lake Stevens police said Saturday they are investigating Nathan Hingson, co-owner of Bail Bond by Nate of Lynnwood. He fired as many as eight rounds during a melee outside a Lake Stevens convenience store.No one apparently was injured during the mid-afternoon gunfire outside Norm's Market on Lundeen Parkway, Lake Stevens Police Chief Randy Celori said.Hingson on Friday said he was trying to detain a Lake Stevens woman, 25, whom he knew was wanted on multiple misdemeanor warrants.Hingson created a substantial risk when he opened fire, Celori said Saturday. There were children and several adults around the market and someone could have been badly injured.
According to the state Department of Licensing's Web site, Hingson's bail bonds license was suspended for eight years as of February 2007, with half the period suspended. The state alleged Hingson failed to keep adequate records, committed "material fraud" and failed to maintain a trust account.Hingson said Saturday he has a valid bail bond recovery license that authorizes him to make arrests and collect bounties. He said his other license was suspended because he and his wife were victims of a Las Vegas-based business that set them up. He agreed to a settlement that required forfeiture of his bail bond agent's license.Christine Anthony, a spokeswoman with the state ­Department of Licensing, said there are two types of bail bond licenses: one that authorizes people to run the business, another to act as a bounty hunter.The state will investigate Hingson's actions of Friday, standard procedure after firearms are used, Anthony said.On Friday, Hingson said he wasn't in Lake Stevens hunting the woman, but he happened to spot her. He said there was not time to call police.Celori said he's not convinced."For him working in Lynnwood and just happening upon the individual, I don't believe that's accurate," Celori said.Hingson was dressed in a white athletic outfit Friday, not in a uniform or clothing identifying him as a bail bond agent when he tried to make the arrest, the chief said.Celori said he's not surprised that the woman resisted arrest by someone dressed in civilian clothes and not carrying a police badge."People don't like to give up their freedom," he said.Taking a person into custody is one of the most high-risk police procedures, he said.Had police been contacted prior to the arrest attempt, Celori said the gunfire may have been avoided."If the individual would have coordinated with us, this situation wouldn't have happened," he said.While police do want to interview the woman about Friday's shooting, they aren't actively pursuing her."Her warrants don't necessitate the need for us to continue to look for her, but police want to talk to her," Celori said.Hingson said he didn't have time to call police before moving in to make the arrest. He said he's only required to wear a special uniform when making forced entry into a home, searching for a bail fugitive.On Friday, the gunfire erupted about 3 p.m. Hingson told police he noticed the woman's pickup truck and approached her to take her into custody.The woman tried to drive away. Hingson said he punched out the driver's window and tried to grab the keys. The bail bond agent said he began shooting when the woman allegedly dragged him a short distance in the parking lot with her truck, and then tried to run him over.The woman was able to drive off, ditch her pickup and escape. Police do not believe she was hurt. She remains at large.Hingson said he suffered cuts and bruises.According to the Bail Bond by Nate Web site, the business was started in April 2007 by Hingson's wife and a friend. On Friday, Hingson said he is a co-owner.Bail bond agents operate under strict licensing rules in Washington. They are required to take special firearms training and are permitted to use firearms under Washington law.Last month, bail bond agents fatally shot a man in Lakewood in Pierce County. They said the suspect tried to run them over. That incident remains under investigation.Celori said Lake Stevens police will investigate the status of Hingson's bail bond license.



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