ANAHEIM – The hunt for fugitives never stops for Lisa and Teresa Golt, bounty hunters armed with pepper spray in pink canisters and pink handcuffs, but no guns.
They chase “skippers” seven days a week.
Last month, the Golt sisters were working around the clock to capture a man whose bail bond had been revoked. But the attempted arrest, which was captured on video, led to a multi-million dollar lawsuit that was filed this month in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
The sisters, owners of Lipstick Bounty Hunters, and employee Roni Faciane, are accused of severely injuring 35-year-old Daniel Lee Duvall when they tried to arrest him in an Arby’s at 7942 Edinger Ave. in Huntington Beach on March 18.
San Diego attorney Daniel Gilleon says his client was blinded in one eye and suffered a broken nose when the bounty hunters, dressed in pink, pepper-sprayed him and shot him with a stun gun and rubber bullets.
“Duvall reasonably believed he was under assault and about to be battered by three unidentified, unprofessional, and agitated women, and a cameraperson, three of whom were wearing bright pink shirts and two pointing what appeared to Duvall to be handguns at him in a public place where other Arby’s patrons were also placed in immediate and severe danger,” the lawsuit alleges.
Gilleon says Duvall acted in self defense and tried to flee when the women used excessive and unjustified force.
“If the case goes to a jury, we are not going to be asking for less than $10 million,” Gilleon said.
Duvall says he had no idea what was happening when he was confronted by the women.
“I’ve never seen those ladies in my life before,” Duvall said during a phone interview. “Up until then, I didn’t know who Lipstick Bounty Hunters were.”
But the Golt twins say they called Duvall multiple times and spoke with him and his girlfriend. “He knew his bail was being revoked by 101 Bail Bonds and we were looking for him,” Teresa Golt said, adding that they were hired by 101 Bail Bonds to arrest him and put him back in jail.
When Duvall stopped taking their calls, they asked Cathy Kessler, a 64-year-old bail agent who works for 101 Bail Bonds, to set up a meeting with Duvall at the Arby’s to go over paperwork. But instead, Kessler, Faciane and other women in pink shirts tried to arrest Duvall, the lawsuit alleges.
The Golt sisters, retired LAPD officers, say not enough force was used because Duvall got away.
“By law we are allowed to use enough force necessary to make the arrest,” Teresa Golt said.
The Lipstick Bounty Hunters continued to search for Duvall and arrested him at his home in Westminster on April 2. This time they brought backup in case he decided to run. He was later booked at Orange County Jail and was released on bail.
Gilleon “portrayed his client as a Boy Scout who just has a drug problem,” Teresa Golt said. “He is a hard-core drug dealer who transports and sells meth and carries a gun.”
Orange County Superior Court records show that a Daniel Lee Duvall with the same birth date has had multiple felony convictions since 1996, which include burglary; possession of a firearm by a felon; theft; sale or transport of a controlled substance; and an enhancement for admitting to being in a criminal street gang.
Duvall, whose street moniker is “Bullet,” is out on bail on two separate felony cases, court records show. In 2012, he pleaded not guilty to one count of possession of a controlled substance with an enhancement for committing a secondary offense while released from custody. He is due in court May 28 for a pretrial hearing. The same year, he pleaded not guilty to one count of possession of a firearm by a felon, one count of sale or transport of a controlled substance and one count of possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell. Duvall is due in court May 1, according to court records.
Duvall also is facing a misdemeanor case for being under the influence of a controlled substance. He pleaded guilty in January and is due in court May 28, court records show.
The Lipstick Bounty Hunters filed a counter-claim against Gilleon and Duvall on April 11 in Orange County Superior Court. The claim alleges extortion, deprivation of civil rights, cyber bullying, gender discrimination, slander and economic harm.
The Lipstick Bounty Hunters allege Gilleon has tarnished their reputation, has made false claims against them and has been on the Internet “inciting others to gang rape the Lipstick Bounty Hunters and has caused us to receive death threats,” the sisters said.
The Golt sisters have a long history of chasing criminals. They began volunteering with Long Beach police at 15; joined the police reserves at 18; joined the LAPD at 21 and worked in undercover narcotics. Then Teresa Golt went to patrol the streets of Watts and Lisa Golt went to Hollywood.
Lisa Golt retired from LAPD in 1999 and Teresa Golt a year later. Then they became bounty hunters and chased fugitives for other companies.
“We just love arresting fugitives and getting them off the streets,” Teresa Golt said. “It is very satisfying to us, keeping the streets clean of criminals who are wanted by the law.”
In 2007, the sisters opened Lipstick Bail Bonds in Anaheim and have about eight part-time bail agents. While their agents are getting people out of jail, they go after people who have skipped court appearances and put them behind bars. They handle about 25 to 30 cases a month, Lisa Golt said.
“It’s very rare to be bail agents and bounty hunters and it’s even more rare to be female bounty hunters who don’t carry a gun,” Teresa Golt said.
The sisters estimate they have captured over 1,000 fugitives in their 14-year bounty hunting career.
“We get our fugitive 99 percent of the time,” Lisa Golt said, adding that they celebrate every arrest with their favorite drink: a Lipstick martini.
Duvall was not their typical capture, they say, and this is the first time they have been sued.
“This is by far the most intense, most difficult encounter,” Lisa Golt said. “We talk people into going back to jail and normally this works.”
According to the California Department of Insurance, there are about 3,200 bail agents in the state. Bail agents, who are required to have a license, post bail for people accused of crimes in exchange for a nonrefundable fee, typically 10 percent of the bail amount. If the person does not make court appearances, the bail bond company is responsible for the full bail amount. Bail companies can hire bounty hunters to recover the person and put them back in jail.
By DENISSE SALAZAR/ ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
If you are charged with a crime, contact an experienced Orange County Bail Bondsman to assist you in any bail situation.