Michael Simmons - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Update: Caught

Michael Simmons

NEWBERRY, SC (WIS) - Wednesday we told you about the bounty hunter Michael Simmons.

Simmons, 24, was accused of beating up and kidnapping a man from Newberry, while working for his brother, a bail bondsman from Columbia. Three viewers who saw the story called authorities with information about Simmons.

Eventually, Simmons turned himself in Thursday afternoon, after a year and a half of being on the run.

Luis Escalante of Newberry has many scars after officers say he was visited by Simmons. And police say the beating was absolutely un-called-for.

"Totally out of line" is how Newberry Police Chief Jackie Swindler characterizes Simmons' actions on a September evening in 2006.

Police say Simmons assumed the role of a bounty hunter to help out his brother, who's a bail bondsman. They say the Simmons brothers paid a visit to Escalante at his Newberry apartment because they wanted him to simply sign some paperwork.

Police say this was no ordinary visit from a bail bondsman and a bounty hunter. They say Simmons and his brother greeted the victim at the door, pulled him outside and dragged him out to the parking lot.

Officials say the victim had his one-year-old daughter in his arms this entire time. Nevertheless, they say the Simmons brothers dragged him out to the parking lot with his daughter, threw him on the ground, beat him multiple times with their fists, took pepper spray and sprayed him in the face, took a taser gun and tased him multiple times.

Police say Simmons and his brother then took Escalante's baby daughter out of his arms, left her at the apartment, and grabbed the victim, threw him in a car and drove him all the way down to Columbia.

Chief Swindler says, "They have no legal right to take him, which we believe is kidnapping, and certainly no legal provocation to beat him and assault him the way they did."

Newberry police say Simmons had been working for another bail bondsman in West Columbia.

Simmons had a bond hearing Friday. His bond was set at $50,000 surety, $5,000 cash. He has not bonded out yet, so he's now in jail.

Reported by Jordan Sandler

Posted by Chantelle Janelle

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