The Andrew Luster Capture

I got a call at 8:00 a.m. (MT) this morning from Fox News saying Andrew Luster had been arrested in Mexico, and the bounty hunter who had arrested him was also in jail. They were letting me know because I was scheduled to do a segment at 11:00 am (MT) on the Scott Peterson case, and they are adding Luster to the segment.

I took the news kind of personally, because Duane Chapman, or Dog the Bounty Hunter as he's usually called, is a bondsman I have used in the past and like a lot. After a few years of not being in touch (he moved to Hawaii and mostly lives there, although he still has his business in Denver) we hooked up again by coincidence a few weeks ago. As soon as I heard the news from Fox, I called his wife Beth in Hawaii who, understandably, was quite distraught. Not only did they arrest Dog, but they arrested her stepson, brother in law, a movie actor (who recently was in the film Italian Job), the camera man and the sound man.

Some things to know about Dog: He never carries a gun. Mace, sometimes, no guns. He has a really interesting life story, which you can read here.

As to the Luster capture, here's what Beth said (she had not yet spoken with Dog, but with one of the persons present):

Dog has been down in Puerto Vallarta since last Wednesday, when he got the latest tip that Luster was out and about at nightclubs and hanging out down there. Last night, Dog was told that Luster would be arriving at the Los Angeles Hotel. Dog was ready with two cars and his team of six. The first car carried the two people who had tipped Dog off. The second car contained Dog and his crew.

Two cars pulled up to the Los Angeles hotel. Some people alighted from the first while the second took off again. Dog chose to follow the second car rather than go inside the hotel. Eventually the second car stopped, and Luster got out. Dog grabbed him and put him in his car. Dog's car and the tipsters' car took off--they were not heading to the U.S. but to turn Luster over to authorities in Mexico. But the police had set up a roadblock. The first car, with the tipsters, got through. The second car, with Dog, Luster and Dog's crew, got stopped. The authorities arrested all of them.

The entire event with Luster was filmed. Mexican authorities confiscated the film. Hopefully they won't destroy it so we can all see what really took place.

As to Luster, his lawyer says that his being returned to the U.S. will mean he can revive his appeal of his conviction and sentence. I hope that's right. Everyone should have their conviction reviewed on the facts and law, and not just rubber-stamped.

The latest news I've seen is that Dog should be released on bail in two days. I just caught this in the AP about his arrest--

One of the alleged bounty hunters, who identified himself as Duane Chapman, shouted to reporters that police were treating him well and asked them to send greetings along to his wife.

Sounds just like Dog.

[caveat: since my version of Luster's capture is second hand--maybe third hand-- I make no representations as to its accuracy. I'm mostly writing this because I like Dog and Beth, and hope Dog gets out of jail soon.]

Update: From the AP

FBI spokesman Ralph Boelter told reporters at a news conference in Ventura that federal authorities do not condone Chapman's actions and would not intervene to help him and his associates get out of jail. "I think his actions are beyond the bounds that I can condone," Boelter said. "We will not be acting on his behalf, we were not working in concert with him."

I'm not surprised. If the feds were involved in Luster's capture, it might invalidate the capture. When the feds want to seize someone in Mexico, they should abide by the treaty and send in the required paperwork--first. More on this later. I'm also skeptical of the FBI spokesman's statement--it may depend on what the meaning of "working in concert" is -- is knowledge of Chapman's plans and activities and communicating with him during the venture enough to be "working in concert?"

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