SEFFNER, Fla. (WFLA) — About 90 seconds after a man identified as Stanley Wilson knocks on a door in Seffner, he is accused of kicking it in while purportedly looking for a fugitive.
“Come on out,” someone identified as Wilson is heard yelling during surveillance video, shortly before a loud thump. “Come on out.”
Chris Simmons was on the other side of the now damaged door.
“I didn’t think he was a real bondsman. I thought he was here to rob me or something,” Simmons said. “At first I thought because I heard him yelling to come outside so I thought he had a gun.”
Wilson indicated he was looking for Jessica Lynn Berry on a bond violation. Berry’s last known address was in Lithia, according to court records. The owner of the bonding company that posted Berry’s bail said Wilson was not working for her.
Jessica Lynn Berry, 13 years older than her namesake, does live in the home but was asleep when Wilson allegedly tried to break in.
“What if my kids would’ve been here and not in school,” Berry said. “What if my kid would’ve been standing behind the door.”
Wilson felt that “what if” on his forehead.
“Oh, it hit me. As soon as he kicked it, the door came back and hit me right here,” Wilson said, pointing to marks on his head. “It was a pretty bad knot, and it was bleeding pretty bad at first.”
The camera recorded the sound of a second kick. At one point, the man identified as Wilson seems to be egging on Simmons to call the sheriff.
“Call them now,” he said. “Call them now.”
As Wilson leaves, Simmons does call.
“This guy just kicked my door in,” Simmons told a dispatcher. “He kicked me in the face.”
Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office records indicate Wilson was arrested four days later and now faces three charges, including an unlicensed bondsman felony.
In a brief phone conversation, Wilson denied he went to the home as a bondsman despite what is heard and seen on the video.
Berry is frustrated even though she was never heard or seen during the confrontation, the door was still kicked in.
“I honestly hope it doesn’t happen to nobody else,” Berry said. “The whole situation is just screwed up.”
Florida law does not allow anyone who is not licensed as a bondsman to serve a warrant and there is no provision for “Bounty Hunters,” who in some states can work for bonding companies.
Several veteran bondsmen told 8 On Your Side, they are legally allowed to use force when apprehending someone. They said that includes breaking down a door, which one said does happen on rare occasions.