The Dog's Legal Battles

This is a partial transcript from "On the Record," April 5, 2007, that has been edited for clarity.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: It's going to be quite a year for Duane "Dog" Chapman. Season four of his reality show, “Dog the Bunty — Bounty Hunter” premieres this Tuesday, April 10, on A&E. But as Dog continues hunting down fugitives he has his own problems to consider. Mexico wants him and not to hunt criminals, but to put him in the slammer. The Dog and two of his associates are still facing possible extradition to Mexico. They face criminal charges in Mexico for their 2003 capture of a fugitive Andrew Luster. Bounty hunting is illegal in Mexico. Joining us live are Duane "Dog" Chapman and his wife, Beth. Welcome back to both of you.

DUANE "DOG" CHAPMAN, BOUNTY HUNTER: Oh, thank you. Thank you for having us.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, Dog, what is the latest on this whole — this Mexico problem?

D. CHAPMAN: Well, the latest is Mexico is now — has it in front of the appellant court and Mexico is deciding whether they want us back to face charges and misdemeanor charges of deprivation of liberty.

VAN SUSTEREN: Dog, do have any sort of time table? I mean, this has been lingering and hanging over your head for quite some time. Has anyone given you any idea of when there'd going to be a ruling?

D. CHAPMAN: Well, we're estimating, you know, around eight to 12 weeks. I mean, they have promised to hurry it up compared to what it usually takes in Mexico for an appellant — an appeal process, same as in America. But the Mexican court has said eight to 12 weeks before they make a decision.

VAN SUSTEREN: Beth, how troubling is this to you?

BETH CHAPMAN, BOUNTY HUNTER'S WIFE: It's very troubling. I wake up with heart palpations because it's just not fathomable that, you know, our country would allow all of these children be fatherless, the our tax dollars are going to fund and extradition hearing to send three American heroes back to Mexico. It's just not comprehensible.

VAN SUSTEREN: Duane — or Dog, I guess we should also talk about, I mean, sort of what started this is Andrew Luster, who I don't — who was charged with very serious crimes, a whole slew of them, ultimately convicted in California. During his trial, he took off and the Americans couldn't find him, they couldn't catch him to bring him back to trial so you went and got him.

D. CHAPMAN: Well, Andrew Luster was charged with 87 counts of rape — 86 counts of rape. We had several leads, he could be in Thailand, Mexico, America, Spain. We had four different crews out, we happened to picked Mexico. We hired what we thought to be a Mexican police officer who went with us. We headed, you know, we found Andrew Luster, was taking him to a jail and the road block was set up. After we were arrested and Andrew Luster was verified who he was, he was taken out of the country of Mexico within one day, so we never got a chance to face our accuser. The only person they say is mad at us or is pressing charge against us is Andrew Luster. Mexico says, you know, that they're not really mad at us, that they're looking at it. The victim, I guess, in the case is Andrew Stewart Luster who says that we deprived him of his liberty. So, 3 and a half years went by and, you know, we came back to America and the federal marshals came to our residence, my son, my brother and of course I and Beth, and arrest me for kidnapping, a felony, and conspiracy, another felony.

B. CHAPMAN: Which had been dropped.

D. CHAPMAN: We never charged with any felonies in Mexico, ever. We were charged with a minor crime called deprivation of liberty. All of a sudden three years go by and "blam" they hit us with, you know, now you're being charged with kidnapping and conspiracy. As it went on we posted bail, a half million dollars, we're out on bail as it goes on, then all of a sudden someone said wait we made it mistake this shouldn't be a felony, this should be a misdemeanor, we don't know how kidnapping even got on the warrant. We don't know basically what we're doing.

So Mexico is looking at it now in their appellant court and looking to see some reasons, you know, why he was apprehended, was he really Andrew Luster, not the alias he was using, David Carrera, was this guy really sentenced to 126 years in prison, was this guy really a bad guy? So, that's what we're kind of waiting on right now is for Mexico to make a decision to, you know, to set us free. We never got a chance, Greta, to tell Mexico our story because we were told by our lawyer it was OK to leave, we could pay a fine later, it was a minor crime. And of course, September of last year, you know, that became a — not a reality, it became, all of a sudden were under arrest for two felonies that we, still to this day, have not been and cannot be charged with.

B. CHAPMAN: Charged with. Right.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know, Beth, it's sort of mind boggling when you think about it. You would think Mexico would be ecstatic that someone came and picked up a guy who had been convicted of 86 rapes and got them off their streets. And I understand, you know, we're a nation of law in Mexico is a nation of law. But I mean, when the magnitude of the crimes of Andrew Luster, I mean, it's just mind-boggling that the — that, you know, they're even — that you guys are going through this.

B. CHAPMAN: Well, and you know, what's even more mind-boggling is that, he was found with date rape kits, he was found with handcuffs, he was found with his video camera, he had GHB. The Mexico authorities absolutely knew that he was partaking in that activity down there in Mexico, preying on American tourists. He absolutely rid the country of this scum and the thing always boggles me about this "deprivation of liberty," as you know, Greta, he was convicted in absentia, so he wasn't a bail jumper, he wasn't America's most wanted, he was an escaped prisoner from the California penal institution, thereby and had no liberty.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, well season four starts — when — it starts next week — Dog.

D. CHAPMAN: Yes, listen, thank you, Greta. Season four starts next Tuesday night on A&E. And you know, we're still out catching fugitives and this is the most traumatic thing, ah, that I've ever went through, but we're still out there, you know, busting the bad guys and it's, you know, you never — when you're self is on TV you don't like to brag about yourself and say it's a good show, so I'll say that my family, Beth and the camera guys, did a great show for season four.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, I tell you one thing. I looked at the numbers of viewers and I'm telling you, the viewers have voted. It is — you know, you had an awful lot of viewers. So, they — the viewers say it's a great show.

D. CHAPMAN: Thank you.

VAN SUSTEREN: Dog, we'll be watching all these criminal issues. Beth, come on back as soon as we get this cleared up with Mexico. Thank you both.

B. CHAPMAN: Thank you. Tuesday night 9:00. VAN SUSTEREN: Look forward to seeing you again.

D. CHAPMAN: Thank you, Greta. Aloha.

B. CHAPMAN: Bye-bye. Aloha.

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