In case you were wondering, Dog the Bounty Hunter is completely serious about catching War Machine, aka Jonathan Koppenhaver. And he wants SportsGrid to help. What could possibly go wrong?
“That’s what I do, I catch bad guys. And this is a bad guy,” Dog told me by phone today. Dog’s real name of course is Duane Chapman, and the new version of his reality show, “Dog and Beth: On the Hunt”, on CMT, is now in production for its third season. He’s hoping that one of the episodes will feature the capture of War Machine, currently wanted by police on seven warrants connected to the beating of his girlfriend, porn star Christy Mack.
Chapman, who is in “an undisclosed location”, talked with me by phone today.
How serious is this? Some say it’s just for publicity. Are you really looking for War Machine?
DUANE CHAPMAN: “We are in it all the way. And we’re on him, we are very close. We’re getting leads and believe me, we have connections everywhere. We are just about camera-rolling ready.”
So you’ve done your research and you’re close to something?
“We know everything about this guy since he was six years old. I’m not here to bullshit you, in fact I want to ask your help, and your readers’ help, for leads. Watch Twitter, watch social media. And if you know something, speak out. Either he’s coming in (to surrender) or we’re going to bring him in. He’s got three hours left to come in like a man, or else we’re ready to spring in and act. We are on him.”
You’ve made a lot of arrests, have a lot of experience with fugitives. What do you think Koppenhaver is thinking right now?
“That his life is shit, that he’s made a horrible mistake and he’s trying to figure out his next move. He’s afraid. But I’m trying to save his life.”
At this point Chapman apologizes and says he has to take another call. “Hold on, this is a lead. Don’t leave, OK?” He returns about four minutes later.
What do you think happened? You said you’ve done a lot of research on this guy. What are your instincts here?
“My speculation is that some kind of drug was involved, some steroid drug. I think that for years his life’s been going downhill, and he snapped, and drugs were a factor. You know, if drugs weren’t involved, and he just did this, beat up his girlfriend, naturally, then he should be put away and not get out until he’s 80. But if he was under the influence of some substance, then there’s some hope for redemption. But he’s got to turn himself in. He has to realize that’s the key.
“He says he loves (his girlfriend). You know he has a bumper sticker on the back of his car? You know what it says? ‘I Love Christy Mack’. It’s obvious he loves her. Something went wrong and now he has to face it.”
If War Machine called you five minutes from now, what would you say? What would be your opening?
“I’d say, you have a police officer as a father. Your grandfather is a great person. You have people who care about you. The fact that you called me is good — that’s the first step you just made. Follow through. And if you don’t, someone is going to shoot you. Cops aren’t trained to fight MMA fighters, they are not going to screw around. We know that. They are going to shoot you. Be smart.”
Do you think having you chasing him will help make the decision?
“I hope so. I like to think that when Dog talks, people listen. People search for respect in any profession. This is just what I do. I have been very lucky to have caught so many — I’ve caught everyone I’ve ever gone after. We’ve been fortunate to be on the air for 11 years, and to have been so successful. I hope this ends well, because that’s the outcome we’re always hoping for.”