Shooting sheds light on dangers of serving eviction notices

August 15, 2012 4:41:30 PM PDT
The College Station shootout shows just how dangerous it can be to serve eviction notices. In Harris County, deputy constables put themselves at risk when they deliver such paperwork.

And though Monday's fatal shooting is tough for everyone, it really was a wake up call for constable deputies who also serve eviction notices.

Well, we rode along on Wednesday as they knocked on doors with court orders, and inside one home was a reminder that gunfire is a possibility.

"You think about it, you're putting someone out of their home. And that deal that happened in College Station is tragic," deputy Mark Harrison said.

Harris County Constable Pct. 1 deputies are heading out to serve eviction notices. It's just days after Brazos County Constable Brian Bachmann was shot and killed while serving an eviction notice in College Station.

Their first evictee cooperates without incident. He agrees to move his belonging out in three to four hours.

The constable deputies were protective vests. Experience tells them sometimes things can go wrong.

"You could be riding up on a meth lab. You riding up on drug pushers. When you knock on that door, there is not telling what you might find on the other side," Sgt. Curtis Thompson said.

"Sometimes, you have to do other things and use reasonable force," deputy Calvet Shelley said.

It's not knowing what kind of person is behind the door. Even an empty house proves there is a potential of gunfire.

".30 Caliber carbine. Wow. And that's fully loaded. It's ready. I mean, it's unbelievable," Harrison said.

The startling find is a rifle magazine, that leaves them wondering what would happened if the home was occupied.

"You look at the size of the round, that can do some damage. Go through doors, windows, so that's the kind of thing you gotta be careful for," Harrison said.

So good news is that everything went well for the deputy constables.

As for those evicted, what items they were not able to take with them, they'll have 30 days to retrieve from storage.

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