Topics

Crime

Demorrea Tarver's charges were dropped, but the 10 percent fee he promised a bail bondsman on his $275,000 bail has him drowning in debt

Demorrea Tarver's charges were dropped, but the 10 percent fee he promised a bail bondsman on his $275,000 bail has him drowning in debt

If you ask Demorrea Tarver what he'd do with an extra 30 grand, the polite 26-year-old man—his teeth decorated with gold veneers, the Burberry sticker deliberately left on the frame of his glasses—doesn't hesitate:

"I'd put a down payment on a house, or start a business," he tells me in a downtown cafe as his two-year-old daughter scribbles gleefully over a page of notes about her father's mounting bail bond debt.

Instead of doing that, he's paying that $30,000 and counting in $100 bi-weekly or monthly installments to Fred Frank Bail Bonds, a stone's throw away. He's been delivering the money—these days usually in person, in...

81°