‘Dog’ show leaves out sheriff spat

Duane Chapman, right, leaves the Mesa County Detention Facility with his wife, Beth, in this 2011 photo.

A new episode of “Dog the Bounty Hunter” broadcast Wednesday detailing Duane “Dog” Chapman’s most recent visit to Mesa County last summer made no mention of a war of words with Mesa County Sheriff Stan Hilkey.

And that’s just fine by Hilkey.

“I didn’t watch it,” the sheriff said, laughing. “It’s a non-issue for me. The fact I didn’t watch it speaks volumes.”

The hourlong broadcast on A&E Television, “The Tender Trap,” covered Chapman and crew’s three-day hunt in Grand Junction in July for then-fugitive Andrew Distel.

The episode appears to show Distel’s arrest by Chapman in a cloud of fired pepper-spray pellets. Distel was the passenger in a sport utility vehicle, which was stopped on a Grand Valley street by Chapman’s crew. They are seen near the end of the episode helping to clean pepper spray from Distel’s eyes.

While the episode made no mention of Hilkey or the controversy that followed, the Chapmans apparently haven’t forgotten.

“… time for Mesa county sheriff 2 eat his words Again decide for your self,” Beth Chapman, wife of “Dog,” posted on Twitter on Wednesday morning.

Distel was brought to the jail on July 20 by the Chapmans.

Hilkey said Distel appeared “excessively” shot with pepper-ball pellets, adding staff observed as many as 10 to 12 wounds on his body.

Posting a blog entry within hours, Hilkey ripped Chapman for “profit-driven peacockery,” fuming over Distel’s contaminated condition upon delivery.

“So without any regard for contaminating the other citizens in the lobby of the sheriff’s office, or the employees of the sheriff’s office, they just march this injured, contaminated mess in and expect us to jump and ask for an autograph???” Hilkey wrote. Distel was medically cleared and cleaned before he was booked into the jail. He declined medical attention.

“Not before,” Hilkey added in his blog, “Mrs. Dog (Beth Chapman) attempted to lay a big ol’ guilt trip on our staff about ‘releasing’ their catch and educating us about what our judges would think of us ... There’s no special pass for their celebrity status here.”

Distel had warrants out for his arrest alleging failure to appear on two felony methamphetamine-related cases.

Six days after the incident, the Sheriff’s Department released video from the lobby showing visitors and Sheriff’s Department staff in coughing fits after Distel’s arrival.


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