'Dog' Chapman sued after mistaken identity
SAN FRANCISCO » Bounty hunter Duane "Dog" Chapman, made famous by the cable TV program "Dog the Bounty Hunter," usually spends his days tracking fugitives who skip court appearances.
Now he might have to make a few court appearances of his own.
A lawsuit filed by a Daly City man in U.S. District Court on Wednesday seeks unspecified damages from Chapman and his Hawaii-based group of bondsmen, the A&E cable network and police.
The suit filed by Simaile "Cisco" Lutu, 29, claims the group wrongly tried to apprehend him when trying to snare a bail jumper who played for the Daly City Renegades semipro football team. He said police then continued to target him.
"This is reality TV run amok," said Lutu's attorney, Jim Hammer, also a television legal commentator.
The lawsuit claims the incident began when Chapman's son tried to grab and restrain Lutu, thinking he was suspected drug dealer Samu Savea. The elder Chapman conceded that Lutu was not his fugitive.
The lawsuit says the following day, Daly City police, who were working with Chapman, handcuffed Lutu and held him at gunpoint at a health club. The lawsuit charges that Lutu was later handcuffed and held at gunpoint again by Daly City officers in a second incident.
Chapman, 53, told the San Francisco Chronicle that he was surprised by the lawsuit. "Cisco called me right after the show and said, 'Thanks Dog, all the girls love me now,'" Chapman said.
The lawsuit also claims that Lutu refused to sign a release for the use of his image but that the episode featuring his encounter with "Dog" still aired on this year's one-hour season premiere.
Chapman became famous in 2003 for capturing convicted rapist and Max Factor heir Andrew Luster.
Phone inquiries to Chapman and his wife, Beth, through their local publicist, Mona Wood, were not returned.