Hawaii hunts TV's Dog over bail jumper costs
The star of Dog The Bounty Hunter has found himself on the wrong end of a chase for £27,000 by the state of Hawaii.
Duane "Dog" Chapman's bail bonds business owes the state 35,500 dollars for clients who have failed to appear in court, Hawaii's attorney general says.
"Bail bond companies promise to pay us when their clients skip court," Doug Chin said in a statement announcing that his office was suing Da Kine Bail Bonds for forfeitures from 21 criminal cases.
"Simply put, if they don't pay we have to hunt down that money."
Chapman and his wife Beth disputed Mr Chin's allegations, saying they already caught most of the fugitives who jumped bail on their reality TV show, which made the forfeitures "null and void".
The state's lawsuit also names Safety National Casualty Corporation as a defendant. According to the state, the company is the surety obligated to pay if Da Kine defaults. The company, based in St Louis, did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
A&E series Dog The Bounty Hunter was cancelled in 2012 and the Chapmans later started Dog And Beth: On The Hunt, shown on Country Music Television.
The Chapmans, who live in Honolulu but are currently out of town, have not been served with any formal petition, according to a statement released by their publicist.
"We have actually worked with the state to retrieve millions of dollars in forfeitures from bail bonds companies across the state over the last 15 years without any cost to tax payers," the statement said, "so it's unfortunate that we are being targeted and our names are now in the headlines associated with this petition."
Josh Wisch, a spokesman for Mr Chin, declined to comment on the Chapmans' statement.