Kristabelle Marshall makes a phone call after being apprehended by bounty hunter Yousuf N. WARNING: this video contains strong language. Viewer discretion is advised. Video courtesy of Yousuf N.
As she stepped into a Starbucks in Los Angeles, Kristabelle Marshall thought she would be given the chance to live out her dream as a model. Instead, she found her past had caught up with her, as she was handcuffed by Long Beach bounty hunter Yousuf N.
Yousuf, a 32-year-old bounty hunter from Long Beach (who did not want his last name disclosed for privacy reasons), had been searching for Marshall for about two days as of July 15, after he was informed by Marshall's mother that Marshall was wanted by the Long Beach Police Department for elder abuse—specifically abusing the mother herself. Marshall had been wanted since September of last year.
After using an investigative service that didn't pull up any matches for Marshall, Yousuf turned to Facebook to hunt her down. Finding a comment from Marshal posted to a modeling agency's page in 2012, Yousuf devised his plan, a la Catfish; he reached out to Marshall and told her he was a modeling agent who was interested in her, prompting the two to meet.
"She came all dolled up, had a car drop her off and sat down [...] to talk," he said. "I told her she was beautiful and to stand up. She did and I told her to put her hands behind her back and we had another agent cuff her from behind. We walked her across La Cienega, threw her in the back of our car and brought her to the Long Beach Police Department."
Yousuf said his job as a bounty hunter, which he's had since January, has brought him into interesting situations, including a wanted drug dealer who cut a hole in a box spring and hid under a mattress.
For those who immediately think of Dr. King Schultz from Django Unchained when it comes to bounty hunters, the modern-day bounty hunter is much different, Yousuf said.
"Our job is strictly just to arrest them and drop them off at whatever county that they're wanted out of," he said, indicating that there's no killing involved on his part, unlike the German dentist in the Quentin Tarantino film.
Bounty hunters have to go through a strict training process before they are certified, Yousuf said. They have to be at least 21 years old, have no prior felony convictions, go through a police academy certification for 40 hours and serve 20 hours in a bail enforcement class.
Because of his 12 years as a federal police officer before getting laid off, the decision to become a bounty hunter was a seamless transition. Unlike police officers, however, bounty hunters don't need warrants, and this can sometimes bring them into more dangerous situations. Yousuf said that doesn't affect his job, though.
"I'm a calm person by demeanor," he said. "It's all about how you handle the situation. When I first became a peace officer, yeah, I was scared. Once you do it so long, you just become calmer and can understand situations differently."
As a private bounty hunter, Yousuf said his services are available to anyone that needs them. His agency, SoCal Fugitive Recovery, can be reached by calling 562-888-2831 or by visit socalrecoveryandsecurity.com.
Above, left: Yousuf N. (left) with a recovered fugitive (right). Photo courtesy of Yousuf N.