THE MILLIONAIRE DRUG ADDICT, THE HOT CAR, AND THE ROOKIE MISTAKE. I would get a shot of adrenaline into the vein every time I wrote a bond. I would be completely interested to hear the circumstances of my client’s unfortunate situation. That’s because my clients are an interesting type. This client was a millionaire drug addict. They had the means to support a very taxing drug addiction that nearly took their life. Idle hands, as they say. To keep this strictly confidential, I will use everything in my word power to never reveal the gender of this client. We’ll call them Casey (my favorite androgynous name). This young person had a family that cared about them and went to various lengths of treatment to help them.
What is it like dealing with gangsters and thugs? There are thugs in suits, and there are thugs with motorcycles. The major differences are that some are educated and savvy, dressed better than others, and commit their crimes above ground in front of God and everyone else. Then there is the subculture of organized crime. There is no school on how to deal with thugs, I could not find any “business for bruiser’s” class so I had to go with my instincts. It was the early 2000’s, notorious biker gangs were at “war” and it was headline news. The first time I spoke with a clearly intelligent criminal was an experience that will never forget. You don’t expect these guys to be smart.
My client was in a small narrow hospital room with no windows and no lights, handcuffed to the bed. He was emaciated, dehydrated, and completely dope sick. It was painful to see. I looked at all things obvious. There was no drip, no oxygen, no nurse. No signs of any food trays, no water bedside with a straw. I whispered to my client, “Hi, it’s me, your bail bondsman Raquel…”
It is essential to include a story on women in jail because women are perpetually forgotten and overlooked. Ninety percent of my clients are male. This may suggest that women don't get arrested as much, but they do. By nature women are made to care, nurture, rescue and protect. Men do not take care of women the way that women take care of men, whether they be a husband, boyfriend, son, brother or friend.
I never dreamed of becoming a bail agent. It fell into my lap and seduced me with quick large sums of cold hard cash. What inspired me to stay was the discovery that I could really stick it to The Man! This brought me so much joy. When an innocent person minding his own damn business had a tail light out and then got shook down by some cop and a personal amount of marijuana or some other recreational drug would land you in jail, I had the magic piece of paper that could have a person out of custody within hours. The fact that I was part of an industry felt fake. Cops make arrests, there’s city and county jails, and the courts employ tons of people. It’s an industry like any other.
Remember the line in the David Ayer film “End of Watch” about the four food groups of crime? That line resonated with me, because it’s funny and true. The drug dealer is definitely one staple of major crime food groups. I was always looking for huge drug dealer clients and drug user clients alike. What I was not looking for was a client who committed crimes against unknowing people.
It was a frenzied New Year’s Eve bond call with all the bells and whistles. I had just ended my night, and as my head hit the pillow, sure enough, my phone rang. I saw it was a “friend” of mine in need. The frantic girlfriend, the innocent arrestee, with the old “we don't have all the money” and the life-or-death need to get out of jail saga. The usual stuff. This New Year’s Eve bond took a very sour turn for the worst. “No good deed goes unpunished” comes to mind when I think of this story.
I was sitting home alone on a quiet Wednesday night when my phone rang. It was a bond call! A shot of adrenaline went straight to my brain whenever my phone rang. I answered eagerly with a million thoughts going through my head. Many people assume I had celebrity clients through nepotism. Not necessarily so… Here’s the true story of my first celebrity client.
The Legsville Bail Bondswoman, Raquel Vasquez, tells the hard lessons she’s learned in Part Two of Bail Tales: Getting Paid! "First, I learned quickly that the cops and sheriffs were contentious, but that was a known fact. My clients' adversities and dramas were much more complicated than expected. You’d think rappers who pulled up in Maybachs would have cash dusted with cocaine particles, but that wasn't the case. And not all my clients had celebrity status. Some of my clients were just hard-working white boys from the San Fernando Valley who happened to have a heroin addiction."
I’m not going to lie, it was exciting for me to go to Men’s Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles. I’m not sure if it’s the “high power” inmates or just nervous energy. You see, in LA ex-cons are everywhere and they’re not embarrassed to tell you about it. Having been in Men’s Central Jail can earn you a pack of sycophants for the rest of your life. So yes, I’ll admit, on my first visit to MCJ I was genuinely giddy. I was there to interview a defendant in custody. I needed to feel him out and determine whether he was worth the risk of posting his bond. All my rookie enthusiasm changed very quickly.