TV reality star Duane “Dog” Chapman and two co-stars on his show were arrested Thursday in Hawaii on charges of illegal detention and conspiracy in the bounty hunters’ capture three years ago of a cosmetics company heir.
Chapman, son Leland Chapman and associate Timothy Chapman were taken into custody and did not resist arrest, said Mark Hanohano, U.S. Marshal for the district of Hawaii. “It went down without incident,” Hanohano said.
Mona K. Wood, a publicist for the star of the popular cable series “Dog The Bounty Hunter,” said Chapman would be vindicated. “He arrests the bad guys — and he is definitely not one of them,” she said.
The charges stem from Chapman’s capture of Max Factor heir Andrew Luster on June 18, 2003, in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, said Marshals spokeswoman Nikki Credic in Washington.
Chapman’s capture of Luster, who had fled the country while on trial on charges he raped three women, catapulted the 53-year-old bounty hunter to fame and led to the reality series on A&E.
Chapman, shackled at his ankles and wearing a blue muscle T-shirt at his first court appearance Thursday, said the government was jealous of his success in hunting down criminals.
“You see what the American government is doing to us? They throw us in jail,” Chapman said in a federal courtroom. “I’m so upset about this.”
The three are being held in Honolulu. Bail has not been set. They will face an extradition hearing to Mexico under terms of treaties between the U.S. and Mexico, Credic said.
Chapman’s son Leland, 29, and Timothy Chapman, 41, no relation, assist Chapman in exploits chronicled for the TV show around the Hawaiian Islands. The show focuses on Chapman’s family as much as the bounty hunting, which generally involves tracking down bail jumpers, often creating emotional scenes with repentant captives.
Charges have been pending against the three since local police in Mexico arrested them shortly after they roped in Luster. They posted bail but never returned to Puerto Vallarta for their court hearing on July 15, 2003, Credic said.
Mexican authorities demanded that the Chapmans transfer Luster to Mexican police. Their refusal to do so led to their initial arrest.
A U.S. warrant for their arrest was signed by a federal judge in Honolulu on Wednesday.
Chapman’s wife, Beth, said he didn’t do anything wrong.
“If Duane has to return to Mexico to take care of any misunderstanding, then that’s what he will do,” she said outside the courthouse.