A pair of bounty hunters who go by StephenIRL and OCEANSGIANT can be found daily on Twitch livestreaming the pursuit and capture of fugitives. While Twitch is primarily the home of video game streamers, these bounty hunters occupy a unique and often controversial side of Twitch known as IRL, or in real life channels.
Last night, viewers were treated to a bit of action when the team arrived at the residence of a woman they intended to arrest. As they approached the house and announced themselves, the woman slammed and locked the door, causing StephenIRL to forcefully kick the door down. The raw, violent footage, however exciting, left many viewers wondering, how can this possibly be legal?
This scenario is relatively common on StephenIRL's channel. In fact, it isn't even the first time the pair has kicked down someone's front door live on Twitch. Last November, OCEANSGIANT streamed himself kicking down a law-evaders door armed with a stun gun and infiltrating the house. The hunters have attended to shooting victims, tazing outlaws running away from them, and, on one occasion, firing high powered rifles into 75lbs of flour.
You may notice from these clips and others that the take downs and more violent events are typically left to the imagination. This is because both StephenIRL and OCEANSGIANT employ moderators to watch the streams on a delay and edit out things like personal information and violence. This is a major contributing factor in why these kinds of streams are allowed to stay on Twitch; they do not violate the terms and conditions of the service because they are careful about what they actually stream.
Modern bounty hunting isn't the about chasing wanted posters, though. Fugitive recovery agents, or bail bonds recovery agents, are hired or employed by bail bonds companies to find people who have skipped out on their bail by failing to appear in court. Legally speaking, when someone acquires a bond for their bail, they give the bail bond company the right to enter their home and detain them should they fail to show up for their court date. This is why StephenIRL and OCEANSGIANT have no qualms about kicking in a door or two, or three...
You can follow StephenIRL on Twitter to see more. Typically, he will tweet out when a bail jumper has been located and tell his followers when he will begin streaming. He is known to give fugitives nicknames, so be on the lookout for Codename Homer, Toe Jam, and Bond Marley. We bet you didn't expect to see this kind of content on Twitch.