It was a Hawai`i-based bounty hunter that captured fugitive rapist and Max Factor heir Andrew Luster in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, earlier this week. But bounty hunting is illegal in Mexico, and now Duane Lee “Dog” Chapman is being held by Mexican authorities, who may charge him and his colleagues with kidnapping. Luster was quickly extradited to the U.S. and is now in a California prison, but according to a Reuters report, Chapman’s partner here claims the federal government has abandoned the men who helped bring Luster to justice.
“He unselfishly sacrificed himself to make sure Andrew Luster was captured, and the United States has turned their back on him and has just left him there,” Beth Smith, Chapman’s partner, told Reuters.
A Honolulu Advertiser article printed in February detailed the start of Chapman’s pursuit of Luster. Chapman, who has reportedly been in talks with CBS for a biographical made-for-TV movie, was hoping to collect 15 percent of Luster’s $1 million bail.
He, two of his sons, and two members of a camera crew that had gone along to document Luster’s capture are now in the custody of Puerto Vallarta police.
Chapman’s website, DogTheBountyHunter.com, describes him as a “world-famous bounty hunter, media personality and speaker.” The site which still lists Luster as one of “Dog’s Most Wanted Fugitives” also recounts how he came to live in the islands.
Chapman was originally just stopping through, the site says, but he soon called his mother to say he was here to stay.
“Mom, I got off the plane and I smelled flowers. This local guy came up to me and said ‘I love you’ — it’s called aloha,” Chapman recounts on the site. “Mom… this is heaven.”
Chapman and Smith also run Da Kine Bail Bonds. The company offers kama`aina rates and 24-hour service and touts itself as “Hawaii’s most experienced bail company.” Chapman is listed as a “Master Rehabilitator” on its website, which is dedicated to his parents.
According to Reuters, Chapman served time in a Texas prison for murder in the 1970s but later swore he would not see the wrong side of the bars again. Smith said Chapman’s top priority these days is his family namely, his 12 children.
“He’s just a dad,” she told Reuters. “He’s walked the straight and narrow for so many years.”
Luster was convicted in abstentia in January of drugging and raping three women. The 39-year-old is the great-grandson of cosmetics legend Max Factor.