Bail bondsman says Facebook live was way off

Posted at 5:46 PM, Mar 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-20 20:46:39-04

A San Diego bail bondsman is disputing a controversial Facebook live in which the narrator says his agents were turning in a suspected undocumented immigrant.

The video, shot Monday by Ryan McAdams, shows Watkins employees turning a Latino man into central jail. McAdams, wearing a Watkins hat, narrates the video, saying the man was at risk of skipping trial and costing Watkins $5,000. He added commentary that drew criticism from immigration advocates. 

"He's in here hiding under sanctuary status right now," McAdams says in the nine-minute video. "Let ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) deal with him."

Jerald Watkins, who co-owns Watkins Bail Bonds, said he watched that video in shock. He said immigration status doesn't matter. 

"As long as you appear at your court dates, that's all we're asking," he said. 

Watkins said his workers took the man in after he changed his address and phone number, plus a warning from his co-signors that he may skip trial. 

"The family called and said look, this guy's acting shaky, we don't want to be on the hook for $5,000," he said. 

Watkins said McAdams isn't his employee. He simply knew the agent, who let him ride along while he broadcast it on Facebook.

"Yeah, I'm not happy about that," Watkins said. "That's just some private citizen doing what he's going to do."

McAdams told 10News Monday he wanted to inform the public.

"I'm just trying to keep people up to date," he said. 

But Watkins says immigration status had nothing to do with the case. 

In the Facebook video, McAdams said the man was suspected of driving under the influence. But Watkins said he was suspected of providing false information to police.

He declined to identify the man.