Thibodaux bail bondsman accused of firing gun at fugitive

Assumption Parish sheriff’s deputies arrested a bail bondsman accused of firing a gun in a Paincourtville neighborhood last month while pursuing a fugitive wanted on charges of issuing worthless checks and contempt of court.

Tyrone B. Williams, 39, 112 Ridgeway St., Thibodaux, surrendered Wednesday and was booked with a single count of illegal use of a weapon, Sheriff Mike Waguespack said in a news release issued Friday.

Assumption deputies said Williams fired his gun several times shortly before 1 p.m. Jan. 31 to intimidate Jermaine Moland and make him stop running.

Williams, who owns Tyrone Bail Bond Service also of Ridgeway Street in Thibodaux, has been free on $5,000 bail since Wednesday and said he is continuing to operate his business.

Ileana Ledet, spokeswoman for the state Department of Insurance, which licenses bail bondsmen, said Friday that Williams can continue operating. He has had his state license since December 2000, online records show.

A bail bondsman is required to report a conviction within 30 days, Ledet said.

“The LDI would then review the case and take appropriate action, which could include revocation of a license,” Ledet said.

Arrests are not immediately reported but do come up during license renewals. Williams’ license does not expire until April 30, 2015, online records show .

Williams and one of his employees had approached Moland on Sugar Street in Paincourtville on Jan. 31, deputies said.

Moland, 38, of 195 Ewell St., Belle Rose, was wanted in Lafourche Parish on three counts of contempt of court and one count of issuing worthless checks, Assumption deputies said.

Williams said Friday he fired the gun because he believed Moland had a gun in his car and was making a move toward the vehicle after initially trying to run away.

“I was just doing my job. If they don’t show up to court, I have the right to pick them up,” Williams said.

He said Moland had jumped a $3,000 bond in Lafourche.

Deputies disputed Williams’ claim, saying no weapon was ever found and other witnesses, including his employee, did not see a gun on Moland. Williams’ allegation also contradicts prior statements he and his employee made to sheriff’s investigators, deputies said.

While Williams initially told investigators he thought Moland had a gun, deputies said, the bondsman claimed that Moland appeared to have dropped it while running way, not that he had it in a car.

Also, witnesses, including the employee, claimed Moland ran away when he spotted Williams. They also said Williams fired the shot while Moland’s back was toward the bondsman, deputies said.

Moland gave himself up to Williams after the gun was fired, deputies said. Assumption deputies told Williams to bring Moland to the Assumption Parish Detention Center in Napoleonville to be booked as a fugitive.

Sheriff Waguespack said Friday deputies did not arrest Williams until this week because investigators were interviewing witnesses who claimed they saw him firing the gun.

Waguespack said Williams could have sought assistance if he needed help apprehending Moland and should not have discharged a weapon in a residential area.

“We just don’t go in with guns blazing like that,” Waguespack said.