Ricky Stokes, the bail bondsman who handcuffed two men to the door of the city courtroom, turned himself into police on Tuesday night and was booked on two counts of second-degree unlawful imprisonment. He has since been released after posting two $300 bonds.
The charges stem from an incident on June 4th when two men turned themselves in to Stokes after missing their court dates earlier in the week. Police allegedly refused to take the men into custody because arrest warrants hadn’t been issued, and court was not in session. Stokes, who had bonded the men out of jail on their original charges, handcuffed them both to the Dothan Municipal Courthouse door and left the premises. The men remained chained to the door for nearly 25 minutes before being released.
Stokes says that he have handcuffed the two men to prove a point that the Dothan City court was understaffed. He also refutes claims made by Rev. Kenny Sharpton Glassgow that this incident is race related. Stokes responded to the incident in his blog with the following statement:
“I firmly stand on the grounds that I am not guilty and have not violated the laws in my actions regarding the apparent bail jumping by Reese and Tiller. When you fail to appear for court at the time prescribed by the court, then you have jumped bail.
As a bondsman, it is my duty to return you to the custody of the Chief of Police or Sheriff, whichever has jurisdiction of the case, in order to clear your bail jumping.
The laws of this state give bondsman wide latitude in the apprehension and surrender of those who bail jump. Case law likens it the re-arrest of an escaped prisoner by the Sheriff.”
The two men and a handful of witnesses went to the city magistrate’s office on Tuesday to file an official complaint against Stokes and warrants were issued later that day. In the state of Alabama, unlawful imprisonment in the second degree is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by no more than three months in jail and no more than a $500 fine for each count.