Bounty hunter Duane “Dog” Chapman, arrested last week as a fugitive from Mexican authorities, is turning his legal predicament into a special edition of his hit cable TV show on the A&E channel this week.
Chapman, who simultaneously ran afoul of Mexican law enforcement and paved the way for a TV career when he captured fugitive rapist Andrew Luster in Puerto Vallarta three years ago, is currently free on bail awaiting an extradition hearing set for Nov. 16 in Honolulu.
A&E will present his side of the story in a one-hour television special set to air on Tuesday night, titled “Dog: The Family Speaks.”
Chapman and two members of his bounty team, son Leland and associate Tim Chapman (no relation), were taken into custody by U.S. marshals who raided his home in Hawaii last Thursday.
The three were seized on an outstanding warrant stemming from their 2003 arrest in Mexico, where they were charged with illegal deprivation of liberty for their abduction of Luster. Bounty hunting is illegal in Mexico.
Luster, the Max Factor cosmetics heir who had eluded an international manhunt for months before Chapman caught up with him, was immediately returned to California to serve a 124-year prison sentence he had received in absentia.
Chapman and his team subsequently jumped bail in Mexico and fled back to the United States.
The episode gained Chapman, an ex-felon and born-again Christian with 12 children, worldwide fame and led to the creation of a reality TV show chronicling his exploits, “Dog the Bounty Hunter,” which now ranks as A&E’s top-rated series in its third season.
Appearing with his wife, Beth, on the cable news channel MSNBC on Monday, Chapman, who claims to have apprehended more than 6,000 fugitives, said was “completely freaked out” by his arrest last week.
And he suggested that U.S. authorities might have acted on a warrant that was close to expiring in exchange for Mexico’s recent extradition to the United States of a suspected drug cartel kingpin.
“If cop killers ... and drug lords that have hurt thousands of people are brought back from Mexico, and my sentence is six months, then I’ll gladly meet him at the Juarez border, if they turn him over,” Chapman said.
Chapman was freed last Friday on $300,000 bond to await his extradition hearing. But he was required to wear an electronic monitoring device around his ankle and is barred from leaving his house without permission between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.
One of his Honolulu-based lawyers, Brook Hart, suggested in a separate interview with Reuters that U.S. and Mexican authorities might be able to reach a deal to avoid an extradition of Chapman. He declined to elaborate.