Store-aisle cowboys

Two employees of a Montrose bail-bond company displayed a reckless disregard for the safety of innocent bystanders when they rushed into the Walmart store on North Avenue in Grand Junction Monday, with guns drawn, to capture an man who had allegedly skipped bail. The explanation by their boss, Dean Hergenrader of AA Bail Bonds, placing the blame entirely on the wanted man, was only partially correct.

Hergenrader told The Daily Sentinel he was “greatly apologetic” to Walmart and its customers for witnessing “the bad choices of Michael Nilsen,” the fugitive. Nilsen unquestionably made some bad choices when he failed to appear in court on multiple drug charges and fled from Lee Turner and James Woods.

But Woods and Turner also made a bad choice when they chased Nilsen into a highly public place with their guns drawn. Hergenrader’s explanation that the bail-bondsmen had been told Nilsen was armed only exacerbates their cowboy-like behavior. They could have provoked a shoot-out that endangered many people.

They deserve the summonses for disorderly conduct and reckless endangerment they were issued by the Grand Junction Police Department. We hope they receive the stiffest sentences possible for their actions. This isn’t the Old West, and there’s no reason for people working for a bail-bond company to endanger others, even if they are pursuing a fleeing fugitive.


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