In New York State bondsmen cannot carry firearms. They depend on bullet proof vests, handcuffs and short batons to identify and capture a fugitive. Bronx, NYC, 2013.

Ride Along With New York’s Bail Bondsmen and Bounty Hunters

Games of cat-and-mouse, played out in the shadows, photographed by Clara Vannucci

Pete Brook
Aug 13, 2015 · 9 min read

Defendants handcuffed in a bail bond office, waiting to be returned to jail. A flash photo of an earlier arrest mug shot of a famous rapper shines in a LED monitor in the window. Brooklyn, NYC, 2013.
Bail bondsman and bounty hunter George Zouvelos in his office. Downtown Brooklyn, NYC, 2013.
All the money collected by a bail bondsman is separated into premium (regulated by law), collateral (requested by the courts) and fees (for delivery of release cut slips and compliance tracking). Downtown Brooklyn, NYC, 2013.
Screen grabs from CCTV cameras from George Zouvelos’ bail bond offices in downtown Brooklyn, NYC, 2013.
Hallway in a public housing building, Harlem, Manhattan, NYC, 2012 (left); A bounty hunter at the doorstep of the house where his fugitive is supposed to be. Bronx, NYC, 2013 (right).
Bondsmen during a stakeout that could last all night. Bushwick, Brooklyn, NYC, 2013.
When a defendant signs the contract with a bondsman, he legally allows bounty hunters to enter his residence. Baltimore, Maryland, 2013.
Bounty hunters sometimes rely on just one picture to retrieve a fugitive. East New York, Brooklyn, NYC, 2012 (left); In a bounty hunter’s vehicle, Manhattan, 2012 (right)
Bail bondsman and bounty hunters review a defendant’s belongings in his room. Baltimore, Maryland, 2013 (left); Possession of drug-related paraphernalia is a further violation of the bail bond agreement. Baltimore, Maryland, 2013 (right).
A New York State licensed bondsman can enter a defendant’s home without a court issued search warrant. Bronx, NYC, 2013.
A defendant named Warren with his son, in his apartment. Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, NYC, 2013.
“Taking time to be with my family permits me to let go of the concerns and pressures of being responsible for so many persons,” says bail bondsman and bounty hunter George Zouvelos. Here he prepares to celebrate Greek Orthodox Easter. Astoria, Queens, NYC, 2013.
Bounty hunters leave the house of a fugitive’s relative. Baltimore County, Maryland, US, 2013.
Warren in Bedford-Stuyvesant, one of New York City’s poorest areas, which many defendants come from. Brooklyn, NYC, 2013.
After being ‘bonded out’ (released) from jail by the bondsman, defendants must adhere to his rules and regulations.
1. Must attend all scheduled court dates as mandated by the court (judge);
2. Must not leave the state (New York) or jurisdiction;
3. Must not be re-arrested for any reason by anyone;
4. Must physically report (check in) to sign in once a week on a tuesday or thursday 9 am-5:30 pm;
5. Must physically report (check) in to sign in on all of their court dates;
6. Must confirm and update all contact numbers.
Defendant with his son, his partner and his two stepsons in his apartment. Bedford- Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, NYC, 2013.
A bounty hunter asks for information about where a fugitive could be. Harlem, Manhattan, NYC, 2012 (left); A defendant arrested in his home. Baltimore, Maryland, 2013 (right).
Bounty hunter in a project’s courtyard. Baltimore, Maryland, 2013 (left); After being retrieved, a defendant is granted a cigarette before being taken to jail. Downtown Brooklyn, NYC, 2013 (right).
Defendant: “After all that I have been through and all I have lost, to be blessed with a beautiful son is more than I ever asked, especially at the age of 51. I love the boy more than air.” Brooklyn, NYC, 2013.
A defendant realizes that he cannot afford the warrant for his return to court, in the offices of bail bondsman and bounty hunter George Zouvelos. Downtown Brooklyn, NYC, 2013.
Bail bondsman and bounty hunter George Zouvelos.


Vantage

Perspectives on Visual Storytelling

Pete Brook

Written by

Writer, curator and educator focused on photo, prisons and power. SF Bay Area, Calif. www.prisonphotography.org

Vantage

Vantage

Perspectives on Visual Storytelling