SAN ANTONIO- It's a dangerous job that claimed the life of Brazos County Constable Brian Bachmann. Serving eviction notices is one of the most unpredictable duties for a deputy constable.
"You basically always go in blind. You never know what you're coming into," Deputy Constable Blake Liedka said.
Up to 150 eviction notices are served each week through the Bexar County Constable Precinct 3 office. Officers usually work alone and have little information about the tenant, other than a name and address.
"The person a lot of times has lost their job, their family and their vehicles. They've lost everything and you're about to take the last thing they have, which is their home. They're at their wit's end a lot of times," explained Capt. Rudy Garza.
Capt. Garza remembers a tragedy here 18 years ago.
"We've had that situation in '94 where our officer served the start of an eviction. The man was upset. The officer left and probably 12 minutes later, the landlord and her son came driving up and he shot and killed them both," Capt. Garza said.
The killer, Ricky Eugene Kerr, is currently serving a life sentence.
No one was home Wednesday afternoon while Deputy Constable Blake Liedka posted a notice that the tenant had 24 hours to vacate the house.
"Essentially, are we the bad guy? No. We don't represent either side, but they don't know that. They see an officer knocking at their door, coming to forcibly take what they have," he said.
There are several stages and legal steps landlords must take to evict a tenant. Deputy constables and constables are responsible for serving the court orders but are acting on behalf of the court, not the landlord, Liedka explained. He said San Antonio Police officers don't have the authority to serve those orders the way deputy constables do.