Two employees of a fugitive recovery company have been charged with handcuffing and working over a 13-year-old at the campus of Bradley Central High School.
Bradley County Sheriff’s deputies were called to a child assault in progress at the ball fields located on the property of Bradley Central at approximately 6 p.m. on Tuesday. Witnesses reported that they observed two men assaulting a handcuffed juvenile by throwing him to the ground, smacking him, making him run laps, flip tires, and cursing at the child as he was observed crying.
Upon investigation, the juvenile (age 13) reported that he had been handcuffed, taken from his home, and forced into a vehicle by two men. He was then driven to the ball fields at Bradley Central High School and forced to perform physical exercise in the heat of the day without water.
He further reported that when he refused he was threatened with a Taser by one of the men and the other man unsnapped a holstered handgun putting him in fear. The investigation also revealed that the two men were dressed in military style BDU’s wearing badges and police style duty belts complete with handguns. They were later identified to work for a fugitive recovery company.
When witnesses attempted to intervene, the two men again handcuffed the juvenile and placed him inside a vehicle. The two men were identified as Tristan Palmer, 23, of Madisonville, Tn, and Gabriel Black, 27, of Cleveland, Tn.
Both men said that they were sent by their boss with the fugitive recovery company to “work this kid and give him a boot camp.”
After investigation and discussion of the circumstances with the District Attorney General’s Office, both men were charged with kidnapping and aggravated child abuse. The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are being considered.
If you have any information or witnessed the incident, please contact Det. Robby Hair with the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division at (423) 728-7306.