Honolulu Lite

Charles Memminger

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Mexican cops bite
the Dog that fed them

ONCE again proving my point that Hawaii is not an insignificant speck in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, but the center of the modern world, 13-year-old Honolulu golfer Michelle Wie just captured the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championship in Florida (not to mention the attention of the hearts, minds and future pocketbooks of several major sports equipment manufacturers), while swarthy and dashing Honolulu-based bounty hunter Duane "Dog" Chapman captured fugitive rapist Andrew Luster in Mexico.

(Yes, that's an awfully long opening sentence, but sometimes it takes a truckload of words to hammer home a point or even duct-tape home a point, as the case may be.)

I'll leave Wie's story to the sportswriters because golf brings back too many cheery memories for me, memories involving the breaking of clubs, the throwing of clubs and the consideration of impaling oneself on clubs.

I was as surprised as everyone else to find out we had a world-famous bounty hunter living right here in the islands. Then came word that Dog Chapman had tracked that creep Luster to a Puerto Vallarta nightclub and took him into custody shortly before Mexican police took Dog into custody for, I think, illegally spreading American notions of law enforcement to a country whose residents have made sneaking across the Rio Grande into the United States an Olympic event.

LUSTER, CONVICTED of 86 counts of drugging and raping women, is often identified as heir to the Max Factor cosmetics empire. Ironic, considering that a guy who had access to the best makeup and makeup artists in the world thought that a cheesy goatee would stop anyone from recognizing him in a major vacation destination for American tourists.

Dog Chapman, with his rugged visage, flowing blond mane and modest claim of being "the greatest bounty hunter in the world" (see, became an immediate hit with the news media. FOX, CNN, MSNBC and major entertainment initials went bow-wow for Dog. The story of Dog's exploits was so big it pre-empted the Scott Peterson murder case coverage for almost 4 1/2 minutes. One network went so far as to point out that "Dog" spelled backward was "God," yet curiously didn't point out that "Dog" spelled sideways is "Ogd."

If Dog, who is charged with being the only guy zany enough to sneak INTO Mexico, is not sent to the Puerto Vallarta Federale Correctionale Institute and Beach Rental Concession, he'll return to the United States a bona fide celebrity with mucho TV appearances and movie deals. He'll put Hawaii on the map, instead of in the middle of the ocean where it is now and, if he's as smart, suave, debonair and handsome as he appears to be, hire me to write the screenplay.

See the Columnists section for some past articles.

Charles Memminger, winner of National Society of Newspaper Columnists awards, appears Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. E-mail


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