Hunt for Dog over?
Buzz is that Mexico will not extradite the TV bounty hunter
A Mexican court has apparently dropped criminal charges against Duane "Dog" Chapman, his son and an associate, says Chapman's attorney, Brook Hart.
"I hear the documents provide for the dismissal of the case by the court in Mexico," said Hart, who was in California yesterday.
"We need to get it translated. We need to confirm that it's true," said Hart, who heard about the court documents from his Honolulu office but had not seen them.
Chapman, who was celebrating the release of his new book at Kahala Mall yesterday, told the crowd, "The weight has been lifted off my chest. Viva la Mexico. The good guy won."
Chapman, the star of A&E's reality series "Dog the Bounty Hunter," was charged, along with his son, Leland, and his associate Timothy Chapman with deprivation of liberty after their June 2003 capture in Mexico of convicted rapist and Max Factor heir Andrew Luster. Luster is currently serving a 124-year prison sentence.
Chapman and his two co-workers spent some time in jail last year as federal officials considered extraditing him to Mexico to face the charges against him. Unsupervised bounty hunting is illegal in Mexico. The charges carry a punishment of as many as four years in prison.
FL MORRIS / FMORRIS@STARBULLETIN.COM
Duane "Dog" Chapman signed copies of his new book, "You Can Run but You Can't Hide: The Life and Times of Dog the Bounty Hunter," yesterday at Kahala Mall. Kacey Sasaki, left, handed her book to Chapman as the first to get his autograph. CLICK FOR LARGE
Mona Wood, Chapman's spokeswoman in Honolulu, said the Mexican court's decision came in a 15-page document that she had not seen.
"We're happy, but until we get the paperwork from the court, it's kind of premature," she said. "Nothing's confirmed."
Even a favorable court decision, however, does not vindicate Chapman because Mexican prosecutors can still appeal, Hart said.
Meanwhile, hundreds of Chapman's fans packed into the center court of Kahala Mall yesterday to catch a glimpse of him and snatch an autograph along with his new book.
In denim shirt and black pants, Chapman worked the stage. He threw up his arms in a V and the crowd screamed.
After answering a few questions, he signed copies yesterday of his 272-page book, "You Can Run but You Can't Hide: The Life and Times of Dog the Bounty Hunter."
The book ($25.95 in hardcover) will officially be released Tuesday.
A Barnes & Nobles spokeswoman said the bookstore sold out of the hundreds of copies that were ordered, but declined to say exactly how many.
Todd Lindsay of Detroit sat in a section for fans who first bought the book. He hoped to secure Chapman's autograph for his wife, a fan of the TV show.
"He's almost a comic-book hero for the common man. He touches something and people want to see goodness," he said. He also felt the Mexican court took on more than it could handle with Chapman. "This man touches something in the American public."