I was asked to serve divorce papers on a New York attorney who had been avoiding service and was coming to Maryland to visit his parents to celebrate the Passover. He was supposed to be arriving between 2 and 5 pm Friday. Our client informed me that if the subject gets inside his parent's house, getting him to come to the door will be challenging.
When I arrived, I was fortunate to find that the house next door was for sale and vacant. I backed into the driveway of this house and was able to park partially hidden about 100 feet from the parent's driveway. I had the subject's photo in hand and he was supposed to be driving a gray Volvo XC90.
Fifteen minutes into the stakeout, a Toyota minivan pulled up at the residence, and a man, who fit the physical description of the subject, got out with a child and entered the home. Ten minutes later, they returned to the minivan. He was too far away to confirm that he was my subject, so I pulled out of the driveway and slowly drove past the minivan and saw that the man's profile looked like my subject. I didn't want to blow my cover, so I pulled over on the next block and let him pass me. As I followed him, I called our client and asked if our subject was visiting with his children and they said his two daughters were accompanying him. A few minutes later, the minivan parked in front of a residence and as he exited the vehicle, I realized that he wasn't my subject, but probably his brother.
I returned to the stakeout and fifteen minutes later, a maroon SUV pulled into the driveway and two girls, a woman, and a man, exited the vehicle and entered the residence. Five minutes after that, the subject's Volvo pulled up in front of the home. I quickly pulled out the vacant house’s driveway and saw that the man was already walking up the stairs and into his parent's house, but his daughters stayed outside with two other children.
I approached the girls and said, "I need to talk to the owner of this Volvo." One of the little girls ran into the house, calling her dad. A few seconds later, a man came to the door and asked what I wanted. I said fervently, "I need to speak to the person who was driving this Volvo." He called inside to the subject, who seconds later stepped out onto the porch with a curious expression and then approached me.
I leaned into him and whispered, so his children couldn't hear, "I have a summons for you." He looked at me, grinning and gave me a "You got me!" smiled, laughed, and asked my name. "Tony," I said. He nodded, apparently appreciating my stealth and demeanor, then asked what company I worked for, and I replied, "Same Day Process Service." He took the papers in hand while still smiling.
I believe the next time he has a problematic service, he'll call us.
Story by Tony Snesko, CEO