Bail Bond Agent’s Gun Accidentally Discharges During Altercation

No charges will be filed against a bail bond agent whose gun accidentally discharged in the parking lot of the Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market on Tommy’s Road in Goldsboro.

On Aug. 9th at 1:49pm, Goldsboro police officers responded to the business to the report of a fight and shots fired in the parking lot. Callers advised that the fight involved approximately four individuals and that at least one was running from the scene.

Upon arrival of officers it was determined that bond agents, Byron Thompson and Joquita Rivers from 1st Action Bail Bonding were attempting to take Tony Patrick into their custody for bond surrender. The bond agents confronted Patrick as he sat in a vehicle operated by Meghan Coble. At that time, a physical altercation ensued and Coble drove off striking the agents’ vehicle while Thompson was hanging partially inside of her vehicle. Coble drove to the opposite side of the parking lot and stopped. During this time, Thompson’s handgun fell from its holster, struck the ground, and discharged one round. Patrick fled on foot, but was taken into custody by Thompson a short distance away.

No one was injured as a result of the accidental discharge of the firearm. Coble suffered a possible broken arm during incident and transported by Wayne County EMS to Wayne UNC Healthcare for treatment. Patrick complained of a minor injury and was also seen by EMS personnel, but refused transport to the hospital.

On Aug. 15th, Goldsboro Police said they obtained an arrest warrant was issued for Meghan Coble charging her with careless and reckless driving.  Also, bond agent Joquita Rivers from 1st Action Bail Bonds secured a warrant against Coble for assault with a deadly weapon as Rivers advised Coble attempted to hit her with the vehicle Coble was operating.

Bond agent Byron Thompson advised officers that he did not wish to pursue charges against Coble.

In consultation with the Wayne County District Attorney’s Office, no charges will be filed against Thompson for the discharge of his firearm.  Authorities said it was an accident and there was no criminal intent on Thompson’s part in the discharge of the firearm.

Additionally, the North Carolina Department of Insurance Bail Bond Regulatory Division has been notified and will be conducting an investigation of this incident.  According to a Division representative, it is legal for bail bond agents to be armed, just as any other citizen may be, while performing their work.