WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – A man claiming to be a bail bondsman is facing criminal charges after being accused of firing his gun at a car in the Trumbull Plaza on Parkman Road.
Appearing in court Friday by video, 40-year-old Stephen Simpson was arraigned on charges including felonious assault and discharging firearms. He pleaded not guilty.
Simpson is accused of shooting at the car of a woman who he said he was trying to take into custody.
He even called the 911 center to report what had happened.
“I tried to move out of the way. I shot the tire out,” Simpson said.
The incident happened a little after 4 p.m. on Thursday.
“It’s just not the way to react to a situation like this at all. That’s why we take it so seriously and that’s why we charged the individual,” said Warren Law Director Greg Hicks.
“It was scary in a lot of ways,” said Rafay Ihsan, who works at the Trumbull Plaza. “I was standing outside and I heard somebody yelling, I heard somebody says, ‘Don’t do it, don’t do this,’ and then after a while it was a fire shot. It was a gun fired and it was kinda shocking.”
Prosecutors say Simpson and another bondsman, Donald Allgood, were trying to pick up Melanie Walker on a warrant for failing to show up for court. But, the company Simpson claimed to be working for said he was fired three months ago due to “anger issues.”
“How Stephen got involved I have no idea, but he’s not to have no affiliation with my company and Don was told that and Stephen was told that when he was fired,” said Kathy Sankey, owner of Around the Clock Bail Bonds, Inc.
Simpson’s bond was set at $10,000.
A judge ordered he not have any contact with Walker, he can’t possess any weapons and he is to turn in his CCW permit to the sheriff’s office.