‘Dog’ crew meets cops in traffic stop

Duane “Dog” Chapman, star of the popular TV show “Dog The Bounty Hunter.”

A sport utility vehicle with the entourage of television bounty hunter Duane “Dog” Chapman was pulled over by a Grand Junction police officer Tuesday night before the driver was let go with a warning, police said Wednesday.

Grand Junction Police Department spokeswoman Kate Porras said an officer stopped a black Chevrolet Suburban, which was affiliated with Chapman’s group, at 7:21 p.m. near 2222 North Ave., for not having a visible license plate. Chapman wasn’t the driver, but he was in another vehicle nearby, Porras said.

The encounter was the only official law enforcement contact Tuesday with Chapman, the star of A&E Television’s “Dog The Bounty Hunter,” who was believed to be in Grand Junction searching for a western Colorado fugitive.

Chapman’s crew in September 2008 arrested four alleged associates of Mesa County fugitive Marco Padilla but failed to catch up with Padilla.

Padilla remains wanted on a $150,000 warrant for failing to appear in November 2007 for a trial on drug-distribution charges.

Facing the potential forfeiture of Padilla’s original $75,000 bond in the summer of 2008, St. Louis-based Safety National Casualty Corp. hired Chapman to find Padilla. The insurer ended up paying that bond in June 2009, long after Chapman’s crew ended the search.

Gary Lozow, a Denver-based attorney who represented National Casualty, claimed in a court filing that some elements of law enforcement worked against Chapman as he tried to capture Padilla in September 2008.

“On information and belief, Mr. Padilla was serving in some informant-like capacity for law enforcement officials, notwithstanding their knowledge of his fugitive status,” Lozow wrote.

The attorney said plans were in place for Chapman to arrest Padilla on Sept. 8, 2008, two days before the bounty hunter turned up at the Mesa County Justice Center. Lozow claimed Padilla was tipped off by law enforcement about his pending arrest.

National Casualty believed Padilla fled to Mexico, “making his arrest or recapture highly problematic,” Lozow wrote.

Chapman’s hunt for Padilla was featured in a three-part series on A&E Television.


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