ORLANDO, Fla. - In an exclusive interview with FOX 35 News, Orange County Sheriff John Mina said he was shocked and disappointed that a teenager who is facing charges in several road rage incidents is out on bond.
Emanuel Bullard, the suspect in multiple Orange County road rage incidents is out of jail on a $3,550 bond. Investigators said the 19-year-old, who they described as a "menace," would sit in his car, lower his window and start shooting.
"We are just flabbergasted and don’t understand why this violent person is back out on the streets so quickly," said Sheriff John Mina.
Emanuel Bullard was arrested for four different shootings. They said he shot at cars throughout Orange County since late December. Deputies said you can see the gun firing out the window in surveillance video captured during one incident after a driver accidentally cut him off.
"We just need our state attorneys' offices and judges to help us out," said Sheriff Mina. "The community did their job they called it in, law enforcement did their job and arrested the suspect, and now we need the judges and state attorney’s office to get on the same page to make sure these most violent criminals are not being able to bond out for $3,500 when they could have killed four people in our community," he continued.
An anonymous tip to Crimeline led deputies to find Bullard on Sunday. According to an arrest report, the tip came in and led deputies to a home on Bonneville Drive where they found a Mercedes with damage. During the execution of the warrant, deputies said Bullard fled into the woods behind the residence. Deputies say he eventually surrendered and confessed.
"This is an extremely low bond in my opinion based on the circumstances of the case. It’s not a one-time incident, and even if it was, he should still be behind bars. We’re talking about four separate shootings, under the same kind of circumstances, and he did confess to it," said Sheriff Mina.
Law enforcement across the area is concerned.
"If someone is going to use a weapon they don’t need to be out in the public to do it again, especially someone that’s done it numerous times. Our concern is that he’s out and what does that mean for the safety of the public?" said Kim Montes with Florida Highway Patrol.
Generally, ahead of a first court appearance the judge and state attorney's office should read through each case. During that first court appearance where an individual's bond is set, the state attorney's office can ask a judge for a higher bond or no bond at all.
Local attorney Whitney Boan explains.
"If they’re not going to appear for court and there’s good evidence of that or if there’s good evidence that they’re going to continue to just be dangerous," explained Boan, who is not involved in the case. "Then the court doesn’t have to give a bond, but the state has to pursue that and make those arguments in terms of trying to have someone held for pre-trial detention."
The state attorney's office told FOX 35 News they believe the agencies could have worked better together in this case. An attorney said they have two hours to look through about 50 cases before the first court appearances begin. They also said law enforcement is supposed to inform them when someone with violent charges is going before the judge, but couldn't say if that happened or not. They said they don't believe the attorney asked the judge to make any changes to the bond of $3,550.
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