JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARBULLETIN.COM
Bounty hunter Duane "Dog" Chapman acknowledged supporters yesterday after being released on bail.
Bounty hunter’s supporters clamor for Chapman’s freedom
Fans of bounty hunter "Dog" Chapman are howling in protest at his arrest Thursday.
Letters are pouring in, and a national Web site and petition movement have been created to support his release.
Chapman, his son Leland and partner Timothy Chapman allegedly violated a Mexican law that makes bounty hunting illegal, during their capture of convicted serial rapist Andrew Luster three years ago.
Some 40 supporters milled about with signs at Chapman's federal court hearing yesterday afternoon.
Drew Pritt, a national Human Rights Campaign advocate from the University of Arkansas in Little Rock, has set up a Web site, www.freethe3.wordpress.com to mobilize support from hundreds of individuals and organizations that have contacted him, he said.
"I was heartbroken to hear today of the way Mr. Chapman, his brother, and his son were treated in being arrested," he wrote in an e-mail.
James Iles runs www.myspace.com/dogfansite and has started a petition to "get him out of jail."
Phones rang nonstop at Chapman's office on Queen Emma Street, Da Kine Bail Bonds, manned by son Tucker Chapman, who said they have been inundated with messages of support. Fans of the A&E reality show streamed in and out of the small office, a few at a time, many of them buying Dog logo T-shirts. He said "business is not on hold" at the office, where its hours are "24/7."
Tourists Bob and Theresa Decker of South Dakota dropped by to express support and get their picture taken with a life-size poster of Chapman.
"It's a shame the U.S. government is doing this; it's ridiculous he gets arrested for doing his job," Bob Decker said.
A letter from Maddi Adams of Delaware summarized the overall sentiment of other supporters: "I am appalled that our federal government is allowing a foreign government to extradite someone for a misdemeanor. ... This is a miscarriage of justice and should be an embarrassment to our government."