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US bounty hunter remanded to custody

Puerto Vallerta (Mexico), June 21 (Reuters): Mexican authorities yesterday remanded an American bounty-hunter into custody for abduction after he briefly captured Andrew Luster, a convicted rapist and heir to the Max Factor cosmetics fortune.

Duane“Dog” Chapman, a rugged former felon and father of 12, seized Luster on Wednesday after tracking him down to the Mexican Pacific resort of Puerto Vallarta. But Mexican police, tipped off by passers-by, arrested Luster, Chapman and four associates.

“The police have determined two crimes against the five individuals — illegal deprivation of liberty and criminal association,” said police spokesman Marco Roberto Juarez.

“Dog,” 50, who runs a bail bonding agency in Hawaii, claims to have nabbed over 6,000 criminals in his colourful career. He was detained with two family members and two men who were filming the capture for which Chapman hoped to recoup some $200,000. Luster was deported on Thursday to start a 124-year prison sentence in a central California jail for raping three women. His attorney appealed the sentence.

Wearing a black leather waistcoat over his bare, muscular chest, his long blond hair uncombed,“Dog” was taken under police escort, along with his team, to a local court yesterday to make statements behind closed doors. The FBI has said it will not intervene to help free the bounty hunter from jail.

Mexican police had initially talked of a possible kidnapping charge for “Dog” and his team. Kidnapping carries a much heavier penalty in Mexico than illegal deprivation of liberty.

“In the case of these crimes they are not considered serious and the judge could yet rule some positive outcome for them,” like bail, Juarez said.

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