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Duane “Dog” Chapman has caught a big break in his bid to run free. Mexico’s federal court has put their case, and extradition proceeding against the reality TV star and two of his cohorts, on hold until further evidence and witness testimony are gathered.
And because of the stay, the Dog has had his choke collar– his electronic monitoring ankle bracelet, that is –removed by order of a judge.
Word came at a wild press conference in Honolulu yesterday, as the star of A&E’s Dog the Bounty Hunter came out snarling in style, in a powder-blue dress shirt with rolled-up sleeves, black jeans, cowboy boots, a big silver bulldog belt buckle, a Rolex watch and mirrored Oakley sunglasses.Dog said “the tide is changing a little bit,” because his lawyer, who’s spent the past month in Mexico, is finally telling his story to the court.
US Marshals banged their way into Dog’s Hawaiian home last month on a warrant from Mexico, because of his capture of fugitive convicted rapist and Max Factor heir, Andrew Luster in Puerto Vallarta. Bounty hunting is considered a crime in Mexico.
But now, Dog’s attorney William Bollard says Chapman, his son and buddy Tim had been under the supervision of someone they “reasonably believed” to be an active-duty police officer (he had a badge and gun and everything). Bollard said his investigators had tracked down the man and were trying to determine whether he was a police officer at the time of the June 2003 capture.
The mouthpiece also said Dog and crew did not flee Mexico after their initial arrest on a depravation of liberty charge, but stepped across the border based on “faulty” legal advice from a Mexican lawyer.
“If it comes out right, would I do it again? You damn right,” the unapologetic Dog said, adding that Mexico is a haven for American fugitives killers. “These guys know where to run. Where can we go so the Dog can’t catch us?”
The 53-year-old bounty hunter also showed a tender side, revealing that Dogs have feelings, too. “I’m too old to be traumatized, but it’s right next to that. It’s just incredible,” he said, claiming he still has nightmares about the feds busting down his door and his night in lock-up. “Jails are truly man-made hells.”
Dog’s possible extradition to Mexico has ignited an uproar among fans and members of Congress. Twenty-nine congressmen sent a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice asking her to deny the extradition. Andrew Luster, meanwhile is serving 124 years. His capture led to Dog’s reality show.