For the fifth time in eight years, security guard Bryan Ansley, son of a longtime Sanford cop, is awaiting trial on charges he’s exceeded his authority, used a gun and acted like a police officer.
Jury selection is to begin early this year in a case in which he and another man are accused of forcing their way into the home of a Winter Springs couple, pointing their guns at them, taking $130, then ordering the couple to drive to a cash machine to get $200 more.
The men were working for a bail bondsman at the time, trying to find a fugitive the couple had bailed out, according to court records.
“My client denies any wrongdoing and is confident a jury will decide this case in his favor,” said Ansley’s attorney, Russell McLatchey of Longwood.
But the case is one in a long string for Ansley, 36, of Altamonte Springs that have striking similarities:
According to arrest reports, he typically dresses like a law-enforcement officer, sometimes wears what appears to be a badge and carries a gun, often pointing it at people.
In three of the five cases, he was working on behalf of a bail bondsman.
In those, according to police reports, he worked with at least one other person, and they would sometimes force their way into a home in the middle of the night, demand money or force people into a vehicle to travel somewhere to find a bail jumper.
Last year, in one of those bail-bond cases, a Seminole County jury convicted Ansley of false imprisonment and openly carrying a firearm. He was sentenced to five years of probation.
That is the only case in which he has been found guilty. In two others, prosecutors have dropped charges. In one, a judge ended his trial early, ruling that the state had failed to present a valid case.
In the case in which he was convicted, Ansley, along with a co-defendant, barged into a woman’s home at 4 a.m. and forced her to drive to Orange County as they searched for a man whose bail she had posted and who had failed to appear at a court hearing.
His attorney in that case, A. Jay Fowinkle, said Ansley no longer has a gun nor state licenses to be a security guard, an armed security guard or to carry a concealed weapon.
But he wants to avoid being officially pronounced a felon, something that has not happened so far, because he wants to be able to own a gun again.
“He would like to have a weapon in his home for protection purposes,” Fowinkle said.
Seven years ago, Ansley was involved in the shooting death of a black 16-year-old boy in Sanford that prompted complaints from the local branch of the NAACP.
Ansley was a security guard working alongside William “Billy” Swofford at a Sanford apartment complex July 16, 2005, when they opened fire on Travares McGill.
McGill, 16, was behind the wheel of a Dodge Stratus that both men said had accelerated and was trying to run them over. Prosecutors disagreed and charged them with shooting into an occupied vehicle.
Ansley had fired his gun twice but missed McGill. The day his trial was to start, prosecutors dropped the charge, but they pressed on with Swofford’s trial. He had fired seven times and hit McGill in the back. He also was charged with manslaughter.
During his trial, a judge ruled that the state failed to prove that Swofford did anything but act in self-defense and found him not guilty.
The following year, Ansley was arrested in Orange County, accused of impersonating a police officer and openly carrying a firearm while working as a security guard at a Pine Hills nightclub.
His trial ended with a judgment of acquittal.
Ansley’s late father, Mike Ansley, was a longtime Sanford police officer.