HOUSTON (KTRK) --The U.S. Marshals say they've made several attempts the past three years to get Paul Aker to court, claiming he refused. So, they issued a warrant for his arrest.
Aker is telling his side of the story and believes the force used was excessive.
He says last Thursday he got the shock of his life at his southwest Houston home.
"I walk out slowly with my hands up, I'm here, I'm here," Aker said.
U.S. Marshals surrounded his home and arrested him. It wasn't until the ride to jail he finally got an answer as to why -- an outstanding student loan.
"What? All those guys and all those guns for a student loan. How much? The judge will tell you, the judge wants to see you," he said.
Aker says he had two previous loans he paid off after graduating from Prairie View A&M University and didn't know he owed $1,500. They rolled out a list of notices since 2006 but Aker says he didn't receive them. He says he was cuffed and taken before a federal judge.
"He asked me if I was in the habit of stealing from the US Government? I said, no sir," Aker added.
The U.S. Marshals Service released a statement:
"It is the responsibility of the U.S. Marshals to serve civil processes at direction of the federal courts. These civil processes include summonses for individuals to appear in court to address delinquent federal loans, including student, agricultural and other loans made by federal agencies.
Since November 2012, U.S. Marshals had made several attempts to serve a show cause order to Paul Aker to appear in federal court, including searching at numerous known addresses. Marshals spoke with Aker by phone and requested he appear in court, but Aker refused. A federal judge then issued a warrant for Aker's arrest for failing to appear at a December 14, 2012, hearing.
On Thursday, February 11, 2016, two Deputy US Marshals made contact with Aker outside of his residence. When they attempted to arrest him, Aker resisted arrest and retreated back into his home. The situation escalated when Aker verbally said to the deputies that he had a gun. After Aker made the statement that he was armed, in order to protect everyone involved, the deputies requested additional law enforcement assistance. Additional deputy marshals and local law enforcement officers responded to the scene. After approximately two hours, the law enforcement officers convinced Aker to peacefully exit his home, and he was arrested without further incident."
Aker says he was never offered a phone call, never told he could contact an attorney before agreeing to reimburse the government $1,258.60 for arresting him and a payment plan of $200 a month to pay off the loan and accrued interest.
"Too much firepower, we can't miss this guy. We must take him down and when you get me you celebrate as if you've taken down El Chapo, I'm El Paul," he added.
Aker says it took him days to shake off what happened and more than anything he is glad his family wasn't home.
Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the Federal Debt Collection Procedure Actthe U.S. Marshals Service is given the responsibility for service of civil processes as directed by the federal court system. These civil processes include summons to individuals to appear in court to address their delinquent federal student loans.
U.S. Marshals commonly serve civil processes to include summonses to appear in court regarding outstanding federal debt.
In Houston, approximately 1,500 individuals have been identified for not appearing in court to address their outstanding federal student loans, which has resulted in a judge issuing warrants for their arrest.
The U.S. Marshals make every effort to contact individuals to inform them of their initial summons. If an individual chooses to ignore the order, a judge may issue an arrest warrant.
More information on the civil process can be found on the USMS Website, CLICK HERE. For more information on requests to collect delinquent student loans, contact the Department of Education. They make requests to federal courts to compel repayment of federal, student loans.