Debt Collectors Punch Mom In Face While 5 Year-Old Watches

We realize that you need to repossess that 2000 Ford Focus, but it’s just not necessary to punch a woman in the face in front of her 5 year-old daughter. The woman, Sara Bradley, 25, was was sitting in her car when a debt collector trying to repossess the vehicle attacked her, grabbing her necklace and punching her in the face, according to the Boston Globe.

Another debt collector then jumped onto the hood of Sara’s car “like a madman.” Afraid she was being carjacked, she drove herself and her 5 year-old daughter to the police station with the debt collector still clinging to the hood of the Ford Focus. The debt collectors claim that Ms. Bradley ran over the first debt collector’s foot and then rammed the so-called madman hood-clinger with her vehicle, causing him to be thrown onto the car.

The debt collectors pled not guilty and are being held on $10,000 cash bail. —MEGHANN MARCO

Debt collectors charged with assaulting young mother
[Boston Globe] (Thanks, Christine!)
(Photo: shoothead)

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  1. GirlGoneRiled says:

    Debt collectors or repo men? I’d expect and anticipate different behavior based on the actual job description. Anyone who thinks that repo men aren’t kind of rough and tough haven’t been paying attention.

    But still? Hitting the woman? Probably above and beyond.

  2. dr88 says:

    Repo men are tough because the majority of their repossessions result in some type of confrontation. Often, they have the debtor punch THEM in the face and throw them out of the car that is being repossessed. It seems like part of the story isn’t being told.

  3. Beerad says:

    @GirlGoneRiled: “But still? Hitting the woman? Probably above and beyond”

    Ummm, assaulting someone to collect a monetary debt? Yeah, “probably.”

  4. CRSpartan01 says:

    Seems kind of extreme. Why can’t they just wait until she leaves her car to take it? It would suck for the mom, but at least no one would get punched in the face.

  5. Buran says:

    @Beerad: Not “probably”, definitely …

  6. IRSistherootofallevil says:

    Hitting a woman? In front of her 5-year-old daughter? Double that prison sentence. No triple it. And quintuple the bail amount.

  7. AtomikB says:

    Well, the two repo men probably felt threatened by the 25-year-old woman and her daughter, and punched her in the face in self-defense. Once they realized that she wasn’t going to be reasonable and hand over her car to two men in the street, punching her in the face was the next logical course of action. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve had to punch young mothers in the face for one reason or another — all business-related and entirely above-board, of course.

  8. Buran says:

    @dr88: That is not an excuse. You just don’t touch someone without their consent. Period. The job can be done without confronting anyone.

    This woman did the right thing by going to the police and pressing charges and having these two thugs — that’s all they are — thrown in jail. They should be charged, jailed, AND lose their jobs because they were on the clock when they committed assault.

  9. joeblevins says:

    Generally the Repo men try to take the car when the debtor is not around.

    As always, there is another side of the story.

    I think 2 possible things… 1 – They were taking the car and she ran out and fought them. Or 2 (less likely) they thought she would be an easy target and wouldn’t put up a fight.

  10. CRSpartan01 says:

    @joeblevins: For some reason, #2 makes me think of GWB and Iraq…

  11. TinaB says:

    They should have just followed her to the grocery store and repoed it while she was inside like any other repo dude would do.

    Are we sure these weren’t her bookies? Were any of her fingers or kneecaps broken?

  12. hypnotik_jello says:

    @joeblevins:

    Well, the “there is always another side of the story” doesn’t always hold water. Why are we so quick to blame the victim here? I would think that the Boston Globe would be thorough enough in investigating both sides of “the story”.

  13. niteflytes says:

    Even if she fought them, very few 25 year old mother’s are any match for TWO men. There’s no excuse for them to hit her…even if she hit them. They were on the clock, there were two men against one woman and a 5 year old, and I don’t care if they are repo men or debt collectors…they *should* conduct themselves professionally and at the very least have enough self-respect and restraint to NOT hit a women. Period.

  14. bambino says:

    @niteflytes: She may not be a match for two men, but her being in the car gives her a 2-ton deadly weapon at her disposal. I’m not blaming her, just stating a fact. I’ll withhold judgement until all details come out.

  15. Anonymously says:

    I don’t see how “in front of her 5 year-old daughter” changes anything. You’re not going to stop and think “Oh, her 5 year-old daughter is there, I’m gonna have to wait to punch her in the face.” or “Oh, her daughter is 5 years old. If she was 6, I’d punch her in the face, but now I can’t.”

  16. Falconfire says:

    @bambino: yes, but then that goes against rule #1 of repoing a car…. never do it when the person is already IN the car.

    I agree something more is afoot here, but im sure its all on these two thugs as to why she acted how she did.

  17. MostNutsEver says:

    @Greg P:

    I don’t think it necessarily changes anything, it just compounds the wrongness of it. Can I say “wrongness”, is that a word?

  18. Trai_Dep says:

    @dr88: “It seems like part of the story isn’t being told.”

    What sort of tool would suggest that a mother assaulted in front of her 5-year-old child had it coming to get punched in the face? And, genius, note that the police filed charges on the two (!) men assaulting the woman, not on the mom.

    By the gods, I hope your daughter, mother, sister or girlfriend is punched in the face in similar circumstances so we can see how quickly you post complaining. Or, really, have it happen to you. I’m *dead certain* that you take a punch about as well as a mother of a 5 year old, and are the type to cry twice as hard.

  19. wesrubix says:

    oh Boston. I love it and hate it at the same time so much. (I’m from Boston)

    This is certainly a new record though. I know we’re jerks behind the wheel, but hey, you gotta do what you gotta do (directed toward the lady).

    Debt collectors around here (ie mafia) know better. These guys must’ve been from Jersey. (snort)

  20. AcidReign says:

    …..One of the principles of this country is that you can’t use violence to collect debts, or lock people up over debts. (Not that such laws will stop Bruno the Loan Shark from breaking your legs if you don’t pay…) The repo dudes were wrong. End of story. They can get ready for an assault/battery conviction on their records.

    …..Of course, even though it’s never supposed to be permissible to imprison anyone over a debt, refuse to pay the IRS and see what happens! Heck, there are folks locked up in the Birmingham Jail indefinitely, till they pay their overdue parking fines. How the city expects them to make the money to pay, inside the Joint, I have yet to figure out…

  21. Greeper says:

    if forced to choose who to believe based on the facts given, i pick the one who pays his bills

  22. @Greg P: “I don’t see how “in front of her 5 year-old daughter” changes anything.”

    Many people are reluctant to carry out adult disputes in front of children, or, at the very least, are sensitive to the fact that certain interactions (being arrested, having something repossessed) are extremely embarassing to a parent and potentially traumatic for the child, and people will often consent to do it away from the child as long as the parent isn’t being violent or an ass.

    (In fact, one of the courts near me specifically bars children from family and probate court unless the judge decides their presence is necessary, because there’s so often family ugliness in those courts that children shouldn’t necessarily be exposed to. It’s often better for the child to see dad and grandma being at least cordial to each other than to be exposed to how they secretly hate one another with the fire of a thousand suns over something that happened long before the child was born.)

  23. RandomHookup says:

    Of course, the beauty of the whole thing is that they still ended up repoing the car.

  24. hoot550 says:

    Regardless of this woman’s situation, what happened to her was inexcusable.

    For those of you who complain about people who don’t pay their bills — sometimes thing happen that are uncontrollable. Layoffs, medical bills, psychotic bosses, health problems, or any number of things that change a person’s financial situation. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you are unable to pay your bills, I hope that it changes your sanctimonious attitude. Not everyone is perfect or can be blessed with stable employment, health and prosperity that never ends. Shit happens and sometimes it leaves a huge mess that people cannot overcome in a couple of months.

    I happen to know lots of people with financial problems who are wonderful, giving and selfless people. Because someone is having financial difficulty does not necessarily make them untrustworthy or unethical. This doesn’t mean that there are people who just run up bills and skip out. I would take a guess that these type of people are the exception, rather than the rule.

  25. IC18 says:

    more to the story here. It appears the brothers were just a couple of teens, probably high during the repo.

    http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2007/05/23/repo_

  26. otothehout says:

    I have one word to describe these gentlemen….classy

  27. @Greeper: Who says the repo dudes pay their bills?

  28. Snakeophelia says:

    Since when do legimate repo agents go after a car with a young woman and a child inside of it? Unprofessional to the extreme. I hope the criminal charges stick.

  29. I’m confused, are they claiming that they never punched her or claiming that it was ok to punch her? They’ve already changed their story once:

    The debt collectors claim that Ms. Bradley ran over the first debt collector’s foot and then rammed the so-called madman hood-clinger with her vehicle, causing him to be thrown onto the car.

    Now they’re saying:

    At the stop light, Robert Simeone stepped in front of the car to tell her they were repossessors, but when Bradley accelerated, they said, he had to leap on the hood or risk being run over.

    Well did she hit you with the car or not?

  30. Canadian Impostor says:

    @Greeper:

    “The two brothers pleaded not guilty to charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, for allegedly using their car to cut off Bradley’s. They also pleaded not guilty to disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace. Michael Simeone was ordered held on $10,000 cash bail, and Robert Simeone was ordered held without bail because of pending drug charges.”

    Yeah, those classy repo men would never have hit a woman in the face.

  31. tomok97 says:

    Here’s the video of the local news covering the story:

    http://wbztv.com/topstories/local_story_142103834.html

  32. Greeper says:

    @Jason: ahhh, guilty until proven innocent, just the way i like it!

  33. Brendoon says:

    This is what confuses me …

    “They said Bradley drove over Michael Simeone’s foot after he reached in to turn off the car engine.”

    Do repo men usually throw people out of their cars when they are trying to repo them? I mean I understand they are authorized to take the cars, but they can’t break the law to do the repo’ing can they?

  34. DashTheHand says:

    Why is no one mentioning that her fiance was sitting in that car with her and the 5 year old?

    From the story it looks like the whole “OMFG HE PUNCHED HER IN THE FACE” was a mistake in that he was trying to yank her out of the car, his hand slipped, and bopped her in the face. Yes, it could have been interpreted as a carjacking.

    Either way, neither the people in the car nor the repo men were in the right. Screw em all at this point.

  35. strathmeyer says:

    Phew, I’m glad I didn’t let my anti-“car payment defaulting mothers with 5 year old daughters” sentiments fly before all the facts were in.

  36. sonichghog says:

    Something is missing here. From the second article it is reported that she was 3 weeks late on a payment. I would hope that the reporter writing that confirmed it. If that is the case, why was the car going to repo for only 3 weeks late on a payment?

    Sometimes I forget to make a payment, and about 3 weeks later I get a friendly call asking if I had mailed my payment yet.

  37. BStu says:

    I somehow find the defence of “I was trying to yank you out of your car and my hand slipped” as a pretty flimsy excuse. What is that? I didn’t that violent thing because I was doing another violent thing. “Repossessing” a car at a stop light is beyond comprehension. There is no way to expect that will go smoothly. You don’t script a repossession using a car jacking as the model. Well, not if you don’t expect to get arrested you don’t. Repo-men can’t be above the law. This was unprofessional and clearly it crossed the line into being criminal.

  38. Morgan says:

    @DashTheHand: Yanking someone out of a car isn’t ok, either. Nor is assault ok just because her fiance was in the car and could have helped (after he unbuckled his seat belt, got out of the car, and ran to the other side).

  39. Nytmare says:

    I don’t buy the whole “but my young daughter was present!” angle. That’s just pleading for extra sympathy and makes the whole description sound one-sided.

  40. DashTheHand says:

    Yanking someone out of a car and accidentally hitting them because your hand slipped is MUCH different than the headlines of some guy walking up to a car and punching her in the face on purpose. Guaranteed that one would have been an “ouch” with a bit of surprise and shock, and the other could have led to fractured or broken bones.

    Like I said, neither the repo men using force on a person nor the person skipping on their debts is in the right here. MAYBE if she paid her debts than she wouldn’t have had this happen at all.

  41. vdragonmpc says:

    I side with the woman on this. I once had a repo man show up at my parents house and begin trying to hook up to my supra. I ended up having the guy at gunpoint to get him to stop! He would not say anything to me other then ” I am here for the car” uhm my car was paid for and I had clear title. I was on the cordless with 911 explaining to the dispatcher that if he reached bhind his seat I was going to shoot to kill. The cops stopped him at the bottom of the hill from my house. The cops came to me and I had to file a report. Guess what? He was supposed to be getting a ‘dodge daytona’ and the license looked nothing like me. The cop told me that if the car had left my yard I probably never would have seen it again!! Heck where whould I have begun looking I didnt owe anybody money!! And before you ask no charges were brought on me for holding him at gunpoint… Now if I had shot him who knows how bad it would have gotten… But I was younger and stupider then.

  42. Buran says:

    @IC18: “Did nothing wrong”? “Want to prove innocence”?

    Yeah, like assault, carjacking, assault with a deadly weapon aren’t wrong?

    These two assholes need to take some damn personal responsibility for their mistakes.

    And had they taken the car with people still in it they would have been guilty of kidnapping as well.

  43. Buran says:

    @DashTheHand: Not paying your debts is not reason to be physically assaulted and terrified.

  44. valet_of_the_dolls says:

    @nytmare: The emphasis on that fact is not necessarily all the mother’s doing – children amp up the pathos quotient in any story, and a “good” reporter or journalist knows this & will work that angle.

  45. Moosehawk says:

    I wish I was this woman. Don’t pay thousands of dollars and it can all be redeemed with one punch to the face!

  46. Tyr_Anasazi says:

    @DashTheHand Whether or not she paid her debts has as much to do with her situation as the price of tea in China. You don’t know *why* she hadn’t paid, which doesn’t matter because she *shouldn’t* have been hit or even swung at.

  47. DashTheHand says:

    @Tyr_Anasazi: Does it matter why she hadn’t paid? The repo people were there to take her car because she hadn’t paid. Period. Do you steal from the store and expect them to allow it because you won’t have the money available til later?

    Seeing as how the two sides of the story are incredibly different on numerous details, how can you defend them?

  48. hypnotik_jello says:

    @DashTheHand: I’m sorry but comparing having a car being repossessed and stealing from store are not even close to being the same things. Arguably one is dealt with civil contract-law and one is dealt by criminal law. I doubt anywhere that Repo men are given the legal authority to assault to conduct their business.

    Though I’m not a lawyer, I understand it to work this way: if the woman didn’t yield her car to the Repo man, they could have a judge issue a court order to force her to vacate the car. If she refused, then, and only then, would she be in contempt of court, and could she be removed (with reasonable force) from her vehicle (by the police). Even then the police have no grounds to punch her unless it’s truly in self-defense.

    The repo men had no legal right to punch her unless it was truly in self-defense. Period.

  49. IRSistherootofallevil says:

    Um why is debt owed on a 7-year-old car? Assault of a 25-year-old woman is unacceptable. Period. Trying to repo a car in the middle of an intersection is also unacceptable. These debt collectors are the scum of the scum. They need life in prison.

  50. smarty says:

    I wonder if that debt collecting agency has a web site or email…then we can tell them what we think…in a non-spamming way of course.

  51. royal72 says:

    come on guys it’s all in the handbook. first you gotta beat down the debtor. then you calmly explain to them, that you thought they were making a break for it. lastly, you tell ‘em they need jesus in there life and to move on from their wayward ways… don’t you watch dog the bounty hunter?

  52. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    Yeah, those two look like a couple of real winners. At least if they lose their repo jobs, they can go back to their day jobs of stealing cars, holding up liquor stores and beating up senior citizens.

    There are two sides to every story, and there’s a pretty good possibility that the woman was no saint; however, that doesn’t justify being assaulted or punched in the face. Just because it’s a repo doesn’t give the repo men free reign to resort to physical violence.

    Oh, and punching a woman in the face makes it all the more classy.

  53. bombaxstar says:

    @dwayne_dibbly: “Yeah, those two look like a couple of real winners. At least if they lose their repo jobs, they can go back to their day jobs of stealing cars, holding up liquor stores and beating up senior citizens.”

    Man that`s exactly what I was thinking…

  54. Choocher says:

    This all has the stench of Emilio Estevez about it, especially considering the little-read Variety tidbit that he’s tuning up to make ‘Repo Man II’.

    Who isn’t aware of the genetic predisposition of Sheen and his spawn towards anti-double x chromosome behavior? The sooner we build this broad-bashing clan a natural habitat in Malibu where they are confined and surveilled, the safer our streets will be.

  55. Jesse in Japan says:

    Aren’t the repo guys supposed to take the vehicle when it’s parked and the woman isn’t in it and nobody’s around?

  56. Michael says:

    @Beerad:
    @Buran:

    Irony, wit, and understatement really are dead in the age of the Internets, aren’t they?

  57. crankymediaguy says:

    “I wish I was this woman. Don’t pay thousands of dollars and it can all be redeemed with one punch to the face!”

    Ah, another Compassionate Conservative heard from.

    Tell you what, I’ll loan you a hundred bucks, but you don’t have to pay me back if I can kick you in the balls. How’s that sound?

    By the way, I’m guessing this isn’t the first time you wished you were a woman. Just sayin’.

  58. Her Grace says:

    Wouldn’t it be kind of easy to prove if she drove over the guy’s foot? Like, I don’t know, by some sort of machine that could take pictures of the bones in his foot and broke them. Perhaps inspecting for swelling?

    I don’t buy the repo guys’ story at all. Asshats.

  59. erica.blog says:

    If somebody tried to pull me out of my car while my daughter was sitting in it, I wouldn’t get out either and I’d feel quite justified in running the attacker over (and probably backing over him a few times to make sure I finished the job). I don’t care what story you tell me or what paperwork you wave around, don’t get between me and my kid. When she’s not in an easily kidnappable position, then we can have a chat about my property and payment schedule…

    Beyond all those details, though, trying to repossess a running car with the soon-to-be-ex-owner still in it is just stupid. Trying it twice in rapid succession is even stupider.

  60. kg2v says:

    RE two of the comments:
    “Why a debt on s 7 year old car” and “Why a repo after 3 weeks”

    Probably related – along with the fact that they have a bunch of low budget repo-men

    It’s probably a used car, on what is called a “Payday” loan. I’ve worked with a company that was related to that business – GPS trackers that they insisted be installed in the car.

    On a “payday” loan, you MUST make your payment EVERY payday. That’s the deal. They are very high risk, high interest loans, with a VERY high default rate. I was quoted a number like 75% of all payday car loans go into default.

    Now, if you figure you’re going to repo 75% of the cars you make a loan on, the place probably hired the cheapest guys they could find.

    The places that use the GPS units started to do so because a LOT of the folks in default will do a LOT to hide the car. They just track the car, and wait. ONE huge issue turns out to be, “they park the car in the garage, and the car is never unoccupied when out on the street”. That’s usually when you hear of “issues” during a repo.

    Now, I’m NOT going to go into the issue of payday loans, or the ethics of them (or should I say lack of ethics).

  61. busterpkeaton says:

    @dr88:
    >Repo men are tough because the majority of their repossessions result in some type of confrontation. Often, they have the debtor punch THEM in the face and throw them out of the car that is being repossessed. It seems like part of the story isn’t being told.

    What an incredibly stupid comment. In analogy to your comment, cops should have the right to shoot at anyone coz they get shot at occasionally. Schoolteachers could grade any student an F for cheating coz students cheat sometimes. Any country can always go to war with any other country coz sometimes those countries might want to go to war with them.

    The only thing that’s important here is that they punched a woman who did nothing whatsoever, so yes, they SHOULD be punished for that like anybody else.

  62. attackgypsy says:

    According to Repo Laws…

    http://www.repolaws.info/repossessionlaws/massachusetts.ht

    Recovery Requirements:

    “A Right to cure law is in effect for all Massachusetts contracts. As per the UCC, repossession is allowed and permitted as long as it is peaceful, after a Twenty-one Day Right to Cure Letter from lienholder to debtor. Vehicles cannot be repossessed from property owned or rented by the debtor.”

    3 weeks late? Yeah, right. Sure. 3 weeks isn’t even enough time to get the letter.

    This poor woman got carjacked.

    The loan company needs to make this up to her big time. If I were her, I’d go after the repo company AND the loan agency for this. Hope she can hire a lawyer.

  63. potskie says:

    My Dad drove tow truck for many years and did repo work on the side. The way it works around here is the Sheriff (i live in a city but we still have a sheriffs dept. ontop of the regular Police) goes to the location and marks the car and then the driver (my dad) dollys and tows it. Then they just change the locks. He also did Repo for private banks which is different they would tell him where it is and the VIN number then he would just go and pick it up at night when nobody was around. He did get attacked once while doing it and started carrying a gun after that but it was more for his own peace of mind. Punching someone and taking the car while its in use is just uncalled for. It should have been towed away when nobody was near it. Attacking a woman no matter what she did especially infront of her child is just plain wrong.

  64. Nerys says:

    Repo is nuts. First I never am in this position I only afford cars I can pay for outright or within a few months. My longest was 4 months. Any longer and I just look for a cheaper car or save up more money.

    Anyway if anyone tried to repo a car Mine or anyone elses in the middle of the night or day I would shoot them first and then call the cops. Theft is theft. We have laws for how to do these things. You want to repo a car you got the local police and have a uniform come out with you to repo the car. Simple Easy Done. any other way and you get whats coming to you :-)

    I always find it interesting that they charge the highest interest to the least able to afford said interest. Does this mean you charge higher to those who do good. NO it means you charge equal interest to all. Interest rates on credit in this nation are criminal.

    When you can be late a SINGLE payment and have your interest go from 10.2% to 30.14% something is DECIDEDLY wrong here. To me anything above 10% interest (30% total agregated) is CRIMINAL and should be illegal.

  65. Smashville says:

    Even if they were trying to yank her out of the car and his hand “slipped”…doesn’t that still constitute attempted carjacking…repo man or not? I mean, even if you were late on a payment, would you let someone at a stoplight reach into your car and try to take your keys? I mean…how is she to know they are repo men and not con artists?

  66. rockytop97 says:

    I’m curious if the woman threw the first punch. I would also be curious if the repo guys showed her paperwork from the lender. I’m sure the lender sent her paperwork telling her that she has been missing payments. It’s really a no-brainer. You don’t own your vehicle until you have the title to the vehicle. The bank was just reclaiming what they owned. It stinks but we don’t know the whole story. Maybe the woman was gambling her car payment at the casino. I guess what worse now is the bank is going to sell the car at a auction at wholesale if there lucky and they are going to sue the woman for the difference in the loan amount and what it sells for at the auction.
    http://rockytop97.wordpress.com/flush-the-debt/