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Hawaiian woman sues 'Dog The Bounty Hunter' Duane Chapman


By Christopher Rocchio, 02/05/2007 

For some reason, legal troubles continue to hound Duane "Dog" Chapman. 

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The star of A&E's reality series Dog the Bounty Hunter has been sued by a woman who alleges that a member of his team "threw her down a flight of stairs and broke her back" while her boyfriend was being apprehended, The Associated Press reported on Friday.

Seeking unspecified damages, the lawsuit was filed on behalf of Audrey Emery, who accused an associate of Chapman of injuring her at her Pearl City, HI apartment on January 26, 2005 while her boyfriend, Stuart Calistro, was being arrested during filming for Dog the Bounty Hunter.  Two other plaintiffs, including Calistro, also seek damages from Chapman and his team in the same lawsuit.  According to Chapman's publicist, a decision on the lawsuit is expected by Tuesday.

"They're filming this TV segment and [Emery] is upset because you have these thugs breaking into her apartment and she doesn't want them in there, so they decide the convenient thing is to throw her down the stairs," Emery's attorney Richard Turbin told The AP on Thursday.

Chapman and his wife Beth released a statement saying their family has become a "target of frivolous lawsuits and publicity seeking attorneys" since their bounty-hunting exploits were first televised on A&E in August 2004.  "We pride ourselves in making sure that everything we do is within the bounds of the law and we are confident that we did so in this case," Chapman said in the statement. "The videotape in the television show itself demonstrates that the charges against us are baseless."

While the 53-year-old Chapman claims to have captured over 6,000 bail jumpers and criminals in his life, the reality television star  has found himself on the other side of the law in recent months.  In August 2006, a California man filed a lawsuit alleging that Chapman and his team incorrectly targeted him as a wanted fugitive and harassed him for three days.

One month later, Chapman and two of his fellow bounty hunters were arrested for their illegal 2003 capture of Max Factor heir Andrew Luster in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.  Chapman was detained briefly in Mexico after the capture of Luster, who was wanted in the U.S. for rape and is now serving a 124-year sentence. Chapman, his son and another colleague posted bail and subsequently returned to the United States.

After his September 2006 arrest for bounty hunting in Mexico, where it is illegal, Chapman said he was willing to apologize to the Mexican government to help settle the criminal complaint against him.  U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colorado, also urged the Bush administration to block the bounty hunter's extradition.  In October, a Mexican court granted Chapman a stay in his criminal case as well as the extradition proceedings against him.

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