The Bail Project, an organization that openly states that it wants to “disrupt the money bail system” and is backed by celebrities including John Legend, Danny Glover, and Richard Branson, has closed its Las Vegas chapter after being sued for posting bond for a career criminal who shot an Asian waiter six days later.
Rashawn Gaston-Anderson was arrested in November 2021 for burglary and theft, just one day after he had been arrested for carrying a concealed weapon but released without having to pay bail. The Bail Project paid the $3,000 to free him after the burglary and theft arrest. Six days later, he shot Chengyan Wang at the Shanghai Taste restaurant 11 times. Wang miraculously survived and is now suing the Bail Project.
Gaston-Anderson, 24, pleaded guilty and was sentenced earlier this month to seven to 18 years behind bars for the shooting.
The Bail Project used “no due diligence in determining whether Rashawn Gaston-Anderson would be a danger to the community and likely re-offend,” the lawsuit states.
In an interview at the Clark County Detention Center, Anderson said the public advised him to seek out The Bail Project because he could not co-sign for himself.
Wang told News 3 that his lungs and his stomach had been hit by the hail of bullets.
“I can still vividly remember when the first police officer on the scene immediately helped me stop the bleeding on my neck and helped me put pressure on other ones,” he recalled.
The regional director for the West for The Bail Project, Cameron Pipe, stated, “It’s an absolute tragedy and The Bail Project, myself speaking for The Bail Project found it absolutely shocking.” Queried as to whether any red flags had been noted regarding Gaston-Anderson before The Bail Project posted his bond, Pipes replied, “Every single decision that we make at The Bail Project goes through the exact same thorough review.”
A local Las Vegas bail bonds business commented on The Bail Project’s actions vis-à-vis Gaston-Anderson. Manny Ceballos, the owner of Aztec Bail Bonds, asserted, “We pick and choose who we want to do business with. We just don’t bail out habitual problem cases.” His wife, Lilia, added, “I don’t think they care and truly don’t care because some man nearly lost his life.”
“We provide free bail assistance and what we call community release with support which includes rides to and from court, court notifications and we attempt to navigate services in the community based on our clients’ self-identified needs,” Katie Poor, the deputy general counsel for The Bail Project, stated.