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Bounty hunters jailed after incident here

Staff writer

More than a year after a Marion woman’s initial complaint, a pair of Wichita bounty hunters have been arrested and charged with aggravated burglary, two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and kidnaping.

The woman, who asked not to be identified for fear of retribution, originally complained to Sheriff Robert Craft after a Christmas Eve incident in 2019 in which the pair burst into her home looking for her son, who did not live with her.

The son was wanted on drug-related charges and failure to appear in court.

She told Craft the pair also had forced their way into the homes of other relatives and friends, forced bystanders to lie on the floor at gunpoint, sprayed an elderly man with pepper spray, and forced a woman into a car against her will.

According to Craft, the bounty hunters’ behavior in Marion County was not outside the scope of what private investigators legally may do when looking for someone subject to a felony warrant, so he didn’t open a case.

He was, however, concerned about things the woman reported that had occurred in Wichita at the homes of relatives and friends.

“I think some of that stuff that happened was over the line,” Craft said.

He encouraged her to complain to the attorney general’s office.

Nearly a year and a half later, private investigators Brian Krogmann, 51, of Wichita and Andrew Saindon, 24, Mulvane, were arrested Thursday and formally charged Monday.

Krogman, whose investigator license will expire Sept. 24, posted $75,000 bond. Saindon, whose license will expire Jan. 24, 2022, posted $50,000 bond. Both were released. A scheduling conference is set for April 22.

The two operate Precision Investigations in Wichita.

In the complaint the Marion woman sent to the attorney general’s office, which licenses private investigators, she said professional bond agents told her Krogmann and Saindon’s behavior had been unethical and illegal.

“My son must be accountable for his actions, I admit, but to have these agents treat the general public with such low disregard is intolerable,” she wrote. “At 11:30 p.m. I was jerked wide awake by someone pounding on my back door and shouting to get in. I was so frightened I jumped straight up, grabbed a pair of sweats from the floor to shield myself.

“As I answered the door, Saindon identified himself and said he was going to search our home for (her son) but would give me a chance to get dressed first. I asked if he had a search warrant and he said, ‘Yes, but I’m going to search first, then we can sit down and talk while I show it to you.’ ”

After searching her home, Saindon showed her an image on his cell phone containing a list of names, claiming that was “the search warrant.”

“I did not see an actual warrant although I asked for it,” she wrote.

Wichita resident Courtney Gerard had co-signed the bond that the Marion woman’s fugitive son had been released on.

According to the Marion woman, the bounty hunters called Gerard’s grandmother in Attica a few days later and threatened to sell the grandmother’s possessions.

Around 2 a.m. the next day, Gerard answered her door a crack in response to a knock.

Krogmann allegedly pushed in the door and entered with two other men, according to the Marion woman’s complaint.

The men charged through the house and woke Gerard’s three children, ages 5, 3, and 1, searching under their beds and around their rooms, the Marion woman’s complaint alleges.

They allegedly refused to let Gerard into the room despite the fact the children were terrified.

Later, when the Marion woman’s son was at the home of a friend, Chandra Booker, Krogmann allegedly kicked open the door of her apartment.

The men allegedly pushed Booker against the wall and to the floor while pointing guns at her. A visiting friend also was forced to the floor at gunpoint, according to the Marion woman’s complaint.

After the woman’s son fled, Krogmann and Saindon allegedly told Booker and her visiting friend that they would be charged with all the charges against the Marion woman’s son if they did not produce him.

When Booker reportedly expressed concern about being late to work, Saindon allegedly handcuffed her, took a photo of her in handcuffs on the floor, and sent it to her boss, the complaint states.

“They then put Chandra, still handcuffed, in the back seat of their car against her will,” the Marion woman wrote in her complaint. “They made her tell them where his cousin, Emily, lived. They drove recklessly, causing Chandra to complain about her neck hurting, like whiplash.”

When Booker was taken back to her home, she discovered it had been burglarized. Taken were $1,500 cash, her wallet, a new laptop computer, night vision goggles, and a television set.

She filed kidnapping and burglary complaints with Wichita police.

According to the Marion woman’s complaint, Booker lost her job and was evicted because of the incident.

Three of the charges against Krogmann and Saindon stem from the incident at Booker’s home.

Another incident occurred more than a month later when the bounty hunters went to the home of Emily Keltz, a relative of the Marion woman, as she drove into her driveway.

According to the Marion woman’s complaint, they demanded that she open the truck of her car and seized a satchel, a portable safe, and a laptop computer.

Contending without proof that the satchel contained methamphetamine, the bounty hunters threatened to have her arrested and charged with drug possession, having stolen property, having a stolen car, and harboring a fugitive, according to the Marion woman.

Keltz filed a burglary complaint with Wichita police.

The Marion woman’s son eventually was caught by the bounty hunters in February 2020 at a friend’s house in Peabody.

There, the men sprayed one of the son’s friends with pepper spray even though he offered no resistance. The friend’s uncle, who was sitting next to the friend, spent the remaining 30 days of his life batting lung infections and pneumonia, which family members contend were caused by the pepper spray.

“In conclusion, it’s a sorry state of affairs when American citizens are treated as such,” the woman wrote in her complaint. “Not only does it give the bond recovery profession a black eye; it also hardens people to police as these men perpetrated and allowed those involved to think they were police officers. The general public should be educated on what bondsmen can and can’t do.

“We pray you will hold Brian Krogmann and Andrew Saindon accountable for their inappropriate actions.”

The woman and her son are among those listed as prosecution witnesses in the criminal case against the bounty hunters.

According to the Marion woman, a civil suit also is likely.

Last modified April 14, 2021

 

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