THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF
THE UNITED STATES P. B. I. A.
Bart the bounty hunter
Former police officer happy with career
PEOPLE: HOW HE DOES IT
Images of Duane Chapman's leathered face, long blond
mullet and dark shades from the popular TV show "Dog the
Bounty Hunter" are typically conjured up when most people
think of bounty hunters.
But locally, Bart Dewald, a former South Bend Parks police
officer and Lakeville deputy marshal, sheds a different
light on his self-described "dangerous profession."
Dewald, an Elkhart County bounty hunter, or recovery
agent, owns his own business, Dewald Bail Bonds, 101 S.
Third St. in Goshen. Staff Writer Yonika Willis recently
sat down with Dewald to learn more about his profession.
Why did you switch from police work to bounty
I was thinking about a career change because of politics
in the police department. After seeing a bounty hunter
show, I found out it was a real profession.
Has your police training helped in bounty hunting?
The police academy taught discipline and to think about
your actions before entering a home.
How do police officers and bail bondsmen differ?
We have powers of arrest one step further than police in
regards that we do not need a warrant or search warrant to
enter a room.
Are you happy with your career change?
Yes, I'm happy with the switch because you own your own
business. The politics of working with the police
department are no longer there, however, there still are
political issues and rules and guidelines you have to
comply to. The money is much better than a single-family
salary of a police officer.
How do bonds work?
Ten percent of a bond is set by the judicial system. Then
the 10 percent gets divided between the bondsmen and
surety company. That's how the insurance companies/surety
make their money. The co-signer is responsible for the
full amount of the bond on the person. If we do not get
the bond in time, the bondsman has to produce the money.
The bond that is placed at the time of release of a
defendant is basically a promissory note stating that the
surety will pay for that bond.
How is the bondsman informed of who to find?
The court will contact us when a person fails to appear.
It's usually one to two weeks after the missed court date,
so the fugitive has that much time ahead of us. In the
case of someone bonding out of jail, a family member will
What are some differences between "Dog the Bounty
Hunter" and your job?
To simplify it, if we walk into a fugitive's home and
threatened to spray them with mace, the possibility of
getting shot or injured (is increased). We don't talk to
defendants (after apprehension) like Dog does. Our
obligation is to get them to court. It's not practical (to
talk to them). It's basically a quiet trip with no
questions to ask.
Describe your job.
It's like any other job. It gets repetitious. The only
difference is that you're doing the same scenario,
however, you don't know how or when it's going to end, and
that is pretty much the thrill of the chase.
Do you stake out a residence before apprehending a
I normally go out at night and will look inside the house
from outside as best we can.
What types of dangers have you been put in?
I've been in situations before where the defendant will
flee and I'd have to struggle with the person. I've had
family members try to take my gun from my holster. I've
been threatened to be shot at. ... They try to run. A lot
of them will reach for weapons such as knives, guns,
anything else within reach. This job is dangerous. I guess
you could say I've been lucky.
What are the range of offenses a fugitive gets picked
Anything from operating while suspended, public
intoxication, rape, battery, domestic battery, and leaving
the scene of accidents, all the way to attempted murder.
Murder has no bond.
How do you think you received most of your experience?
After gaining (knowledge) from chasing Hispanic people --
the ones that can falsify their identities -- I used the
same tactics (I used to locate Hispanics) to locate people
who are legally registered in this country. ... I've
become more successful because of that training. As of
four months ago, I no longer will bond out Hispanics
because of their nature of high flight risk.
Do many people lose interest in bounty hunting?
There's very little money in recovery work. Most bondsmen
choose to do their own recovery work because of
liabilities, and most have no prior experience in law
enforcement work and military.
Calling Cards catch the big one!! In our bag of tricks we
soon learn nothing works all the time. But one thing that
has consistently worked for me is the Calling Cards.
Sending the calling cards to the Target or his family and
wait to see where they are calling, makes the hardest skip
and easy prey.
We had a little gang banging murderer that had fled from
Houston and after setting up surveillance on his wife, we
soon determined that our Target was not there. So we sent
the calling card to the wife and in short time she was
trying to complete a call into Mexico.
Because our Target was an American citizen, armed with his
a copy of his birth certificate we approached the Mexican
Authorities. They took a search warrant to the phone
company and we got an address. The rest is history.
They took him to the border and kicked him out of the
Country of Mexico and we were there to receive him.
Payday was a
Bondsman says Conley only concerned about justice when
it suits her
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
By Lawrence Smith - Parkersburg Bureau
PARKERSBURG - Despite claiming she is serving justice
by being cautious to bring an indictment in a Mason
County forgery case, a Parkersburg bondsman says Wood
County prosecutor Ginny Conley created an injustice in
her haste to have him convicted on bogus charges.
Last month, Conley, who is serving as a special
prosecutor investigating allegations Point Pleasant
attorney Raymond G. Musgrave forged a settlement check
owed his client Danny R. Westmoreland, said she's yet to
determine whether to seek an indictment because all the
evidence she has is based on "speculation and
conjecture." Bringing an indictment against Musgrave at
this point in the investigation, Conley says, which is
in its 16th month, is "not serving justice."
However, Edward D. "Ed" Rempel, a Parkersburg bail
bondsman, says Conley wasn't so concerned about justice
seven years ago. In the course of 14 months, Rempel said
Conley twice attempted to convict him on charges
stemming from his arrest of a bail fugitive, a matter in
which he had more than sufficient legal authority.
Tracking a fugitive from Virginia
Rempel's run-in with Conley started, he says, in April
1999 when a bail enforcement agent from Virginia Beach
called his mother, Pauline O. Rempel, asking if she would
find, apprehend and deliver to him a man who skipped bail
and was believed to be in the Parkersburg-area. Pauline
assigned the task to Ed who typically handles enforcement
of bail contracts for their firm, POR Enterprises, a
private investigation and bail bonding company.
Upon receiving the bailpiece, Ed says about 10 days later
he confirmed the fugitive, George L. Carpenter, Jr. was in
Parkersburg. According to Rempel, Carpenter, who skipped
on a $4,000 bond, was residing with his stepfather, Jerry
Instead of attempting to affect an arrest at Cheeseman's
home, Rempel says he decided to capture Carpenter in a
public place. That opportunity, Rempel said, came on April
29, 1999 when Carpenter, Cheeseman and Mark William Smith
stopped in at the now demolished Exxon on U.S. 50 off the
I-77 Interstate exit.
"When I made my positive ID, that's when I made my
arrest," Rempel said.
As he observed the trio changing tires on a car in the
Exxon's parking lot, Rempel says he approached them with a
12-guage shotgun, ordered them to the ground and informed
them he was placing Carpenter under arrest to return him
to Virginia Beach. His arrest of Carpenter went without
incident, Rempel said.
Accused of Kidnapping
However, Rempel says Chesseman talked him into letting he
and Smith go so as to get Carpenter a change of clothes
for his trip. Instead, they left to call police, and
accuse him of attempted kidnapping, Rempel said.
While waiting for Cheeseman and Smith to return, Rempel
said several cruisers from the Wood County Sheriff's
Department arrived on the scene. Since deputies knew him,
Rempel said he was not placed under arrest, but asked to
remain at the scene until they could assess the situation.
Among the people with whom they conferred was Conley,
According to Rempel, Conley said she was unaware of any
laws he may have broken. However, Conley asked police to
get a signed statement from Rempel assuring Carpenter
would be returned unharmed to Virginia Beach.
Rempel complied, and had Pauline transport Carpenter to
Virginia Beach. As far as he was concerned, Rempel said,
the matter was closed.
"She said she [Conley] would take care of it," Rempel
However, 17 days later, Ed said he received a call from
Pauline informing him of a warrant that was sworn out for
his arrest by Sheriff's Deputy B.A. Pickens. After calling
to confirm the warrant was valid, Ed says he turned
himself into the Sheriff's Department.
Rempel was arraigned on felony charges of wanton
endangerment with a firearm stemming from his arrest of
Carpenter (Wood County Magistrate Court, Case No.
99-F-128). He was released after posting $2,000 bail.
Fearing he would not receive adequate counsel from local
attorneys, Rempel said he hired Charleston attorney James
Cagle to defend him.
130-year old legal precedent
The defense they used against the charges, Rempel said, is
the standard used by bail enforcers in making arrests of
bail fugitives. In the case of Taylor v. Taintor (83 U.S.
366), the U.S. Supreme Court in 1872 granted broad arrest
powers to bondsmen, which Rempel says, applies directly to
In Taylor, the Court in a 4-3 decision affirmed the
decision by the Supreme Court of Connecticut that bondsmen
retain custody of a subject even when he may have fled to
another jurisdiction, and convicted on other charges. In
his majority opinion, Justice Noah Swayne said bondsmen
may use any means necessary to pursue and apprehend a
person who skipped bail.
"When bail is given," Swayne wrote, "the principal is
regarded as delivered to the custody of his sureties.
Their dominion is a continuance of the original
imprisonment. Whenever they choose to do so, they may
seize him and deliver him up in their discharge; and if
that cannot be done at once, they may imprison him until
it can be done.
"They may exercise their rights in person or by agent,"
Swayne continued. "They may pursue him into another State;
may arrest him on the Sabbath; and, if necessary, may
break and enter his house for that purpose. The seizure is
not made by virtue of new process. None is needed. It is
likened to the re-arrest by the sheriff of an escaping
One set of charges dismissed; indictments handed down
Despite having broad arrest powers, Rempel says he's
careful to use only the amount of force necessary to
affect an arrest, including the display and use of a
firearm. The use of a shotgun when arresting Carpenter was
necessary, Rempel said, because he was with two other
people who could have used the tire irons as weapons.
On Aug. 10, 1999, Wood County Magistrate Charles Plum
granted a motion by Conley to dismiss the wanton
endangerment charges against Rempel. Though at the time
she declined to be specific, Conley said more time was
needed to investigate the case.
On Jan. 14, 2000, Rempel was indicted on three misdemeanor
counts of brandishing and unlawful acts with a firearm by
the Wood County grand jury (Wood County Circuit Court,
Case No. 00-M-1). The indictments were brought, Rempel
says, partly as an attempt by Conley to discredit him in
the civil suit he filed on Nov. 10, 1999 against Pickens
for false arrest (Wood County Circuit Court, Case No.
"It was a politically motivated thing," Rempel said.
However, Rempel was successful in getting the brandishing
charges dismissed. On July 3, Wood County Circuit Judge
George W. Hill agreed that Rempel's actions fell within
the powers outlined in the Taylor decision.
"This is an unusual case," Hill said, according to court
transcripts. "But from my research, the bail bondsman has
extraordinary powers, more than a police officer.
"He can enter a home without a search warrant. He can
arrest without a warrant. And it just far exceeds what a
police officer can do. And I don't think that a police
officer could be charged criminally for this behavior,"
According to transcripts, Conley was caught off-guard by
Hill's intent to dismiss the charges, and attempted to
object to his findings. However, Hill stood firm in his
Conley: "So those are the findings, Your Honor?
The Court: "Yes, ma'am."
Conley: And also - so I guess I am understanding - because
I know - I mean, this issue will come up. You are saying
that bondsmen can pull guns on people to apprehend them,
The Court: "I am not saying anything except this
indictment is not valid."
The Court: "I am not saying anything beyond that."
Conley: "I guess I - I am sorry."
Conley, who declined to comment for this story, sparred
with Hill one last time when she announced her intentions
to refile an indictment against Rempel.
Conley: "I just want to make sure our objection, and we
will be filing a writ on the record because it is contrary
to what the grand jury was advised, Your Honor."
The Court: "Well, I don't care. You present these things
to the grand jury."
Conley: "Thank you, Your Honor."
The Court: "Maybe I was wrong when I approved that
instruction to the grand jury. I don't know. That is not
the issue here."
Despite her intentions to refile an indictment, Conley,
who was up for re-election in 2000, quietly let the matter
rest. Hill later dismissed Rempel's civil suit against
Pickens on July 26, 2000.
A learning experience
Since the dismissal of the case, Rempel says he continues
to arrest bail fugitives, though he is extra careful to
display a firearm. As the case prior to his arrest of
Carpenter, Rempel said all arrests have gone without
Despite having to shell out $10,000 in legal fees, Rempel,
42, is philosophical about the attempts Conley made to
prosecute him. Hopefully, Rempel says, police and
prosecutors will see the positive role bondsmen and bail
enforcement agents play in the criminal justice system.
"I feel there needs to be more training for prosecutors
and police departments on the rights of bondsmen," Rempel
September 8, 2006
gun permit for bounty hunter
Court judge on Thursday revoked a Parsippany
resident's permit to carry a handgun, finding that the
man failed to disclose in his application permit that
he was involved in capturing fugitives, or "bounty-hunting."
Judge Salem Vincent Ahto, sitting
in Morristown, revoked the handgun-carrying permit
that both he and Parsippany police approved in May for
Augustis Grimanis, 40, based upon his statements that
he worked for a Union-based company as an armed escort
for jewelry couriers and ATM technicians.
Grimanis had first applied to
Parsippany's police chief for a carry permit in early
2005 and was denied after he disclosed that he ran a
company that provided personal protection and went
after bail-jumpers or fugitives. In New Jersey,
fugitive recovery agents, also called bounty
hunters, do not have a right as trained police
officers do to carry a weapon; rather, their
applications to carry are judged on a case-by-case
basis and they have to show a "justifiable need"to
carry a firearm in public.
After the first denial, Grimanis
took a job with Union-based Direct Guard LLC and
applied a second time to Parsippany for a carry
permit. He was approved in May, and Ahto also reviewed
the application and approved it. The judge's review
included a detailed letter from Direct Guard CEO Ron
Padron, who wrote about providing armed escorts for
ATM and bank technicians and jewelry salesmen but
never mentioned fugitive recovery jobs.
Grimanis' role as a bounty
hunter became known on June 19 when he was
conducting surveillance in Jersey City for a wanted
fugitive, Mario Garcia, and apprehended the man in a
convenience store on Williams Avenue. A mob of more
than 20 people -- mostly relatives and friends of
Garcia -- surrounded the store but Grimanis never drew
the handgun he was carrying. Jersey City police
questioned his position when they arrived at the store
and contacted the Morris County Prosecutor's Office,
which filed an action with Ahto to revoke Grimanis'
"There is nothing in that
communication directed to a judge that (indicates)
that Mr. Grimanis would be used for fugitive recovery
or bail recovery," Ahto said of Padron's letter. "This
is a fugitive recovery company. They're not going to
get a permit to carry from me."
Grimanis' lawyer, Thomas Butler,
unsuccessfully asked the judge to let his client
continue carrying the gun during other jobs he
performs for Direct Guard. Butler pointed out that
Grimanis showed enormous restraint and skill when he
refused to pull out his gun in Jersey City, even when
confronted by a mob. Grimanis also has passed courses
in firearms safety and the use of deadly force, Butler
After the hearing, Padron said
that Grimanis will still have a job with Direct Guard,
and that he is incensed that Morris County seems to be
the only county in the state that does not grant
handgun-carrying permits to bail recovery agents.
Four years ago in Morris County,
then-Superior Court Assignment Judge Reginald Stanton
created a furor in the bounty-hunting community
when he denied the applications of two men to carry
guns as fugitive recovery agents. Stanton opined that,
though the men met the statutory requirements of
having good characters and abilities to handle
firearms, he believed only trained law enforcement
officers who are accountable to the public should be
responsible for nabbing fugitives.
A state appeals court in 2003
determined that any rights of bounty hunters
to carry guns on the job should be decided on a
Duane 'Dog' Chapman arrested in Hawaii
that made bounty hunter and reality
television star Duane "Dog" Chapman
famous came back to bite him Thursday
when he was arrested in Hawaii after
the Mexican government requested that
he be held on kidnapping charges.
His son, Leland Chapman, and
associate, Timothy Chapman, — part of
the "posse" whose weekly escapades in
the bail bondsman world are documented
on A&E Television Network's most
popular show, "Dog, The Bounty Hunter"
— were also arrested for their roles
in apprehending convicted rapist and
Max Factor heir Andrew Lusterin Puerto
Vallarta, Mexico in 2003.
The Mexican government has long
said that the Chapmans broke the law
when they detained Luster and have had
outstanding charges against him ever
since. Bounty hunting is illegal in
The men were arrested in Honolulu
suburbs without incident and are being
held until a detention hearing, likely
to come sometime next week.
"He arrests the bad guys, and he is
definitely not one of them," said
Duane Chapman's publicist, Mona K.
His wife, Beth Chapman, also a star
in the series, said Chapman had left
Mexico on the advice of his lawyers,
who feared for his safety in the
Mexican prison system.
"Duane is a hero, and so are Leland
and Tim," Beth Chapman said by
telephone. "The only reason that
Andrew Luster's victims were able to
proceed with their lives is that Duane
went down there and made sure this
animal ended up behind bars. If Duane
has to step up because he did
something incorrectly, he will."
Chapman was in bed at 6 a.m.
Thursday and had no idea that the
United States Marshals Service was
seeking him, Beth Chapman said. "I was
getting the kids ready for school, and
they just came in and bum rushed him
Chapman, who spends many of his
days handcuffing others as cameras
film the captures, cooperated with the
marshals, officials said.
"He was compliant and respectful,
and the arrest was made without
incident," said Jay Bieber, a deputy
marshal in Honolulu.
The State Department received a
formal request from the Mexican
government that the Chapmans be
detained under extradition treaties.
The Marshals Service was asked to
arrest the three men on a preliminary
warrant, said Larry Burtrick with the
U.S. Attorney's office in Hawaii. The
state is asking that the judge not
allow the Chapmans to post bond, he
An extradition hearing will follow
in which a judge will decide if the
charges warrant extradition. The
Chapmans can fight that decision.
The three traveled to Mexico in
2003 to collect on a $1 million bond
after Luster skipped town in the
middle of his trial for drugging and
raping three women at his Mussel
When the Chapmans found Luster
outside a disco, they grabbed him and
caused such a commotion that they
caught the attention of locals, who
called the police. Officials detained
all the men.
Luster was brought back to Ventura
County, where he had been tried and
found guilty in absentia and sentenced
to 124 years in prison.
The Chapmans were detained for
three days in Mexico, then set free,
then charged with "deprivavation of
liberty and criminal association." The
government said the Chapmans violated
their bail when they returned to the
U.S. and didn't sign in with the court
in Puerto Vallarta weekly. The
government later issued an all-points
bulletin for the Chapmans, and the
charges have been outstanding ever
since. Chapman never collected the
"We're not running away from
nothing," Duane Chapman said at the
time. "I'm sure the Mexican
authorities will decide this to go my
However, friends and family members
said the unresolved legal tangle was
always in the back of Duane Chapman's
"They were afraid something like
that would happen," said Tucker
Chapman, one of his sons who also
works at Da Kine Bail Bonds in Hawaii.
Leonard Padilla, a Ventura bail
bondsman who has known Duane Chapman
for years, said he thought the Dog had
simply pushed the whole ordeal from
"Let's just say sometimes a TV show
gives you a heady feeling, and it did
not become a priority," Padilla said.
After Chapman made headlines, some
bondsmen publicly decried his
techniques as unprofessional. With his
mullet hairstyle, gritty look and
flamboyant nature, Chapman became an
overnight cult phenomenon.
Padilla said he suspected other
bounty hunters jealous of Chapman's
fame put pressure on Mexican officials
to arrest him.
Luster's former attorney, Roger Jon
Diamond, also said he's heard that
bounty hunters have been pressuring
the Mexican government to take action,
because Chapman's actions gave them a
"He did not conduct himself
properly as far as I am concerned,"
said Diamond, who said Luster told him
that Chapman roughed him up. "On
behalf of Andrew Luster, on behalf of
anyone who wants justice, I'm very
pleased that he is not escaping
He didn't know if Luster, confined
in a Sacramento prison, knew of the
Others made the argument that if
someone from Mexico came to the U.S.
and detained someone, the case might
be more obvious.
"It is very clear that Mr. Chapman
violated the sovereignty and law of
Mexico," said Gary Auer, chief of
investigations for the Ventura County
District Attorney's Office, which
issued one of the warrants for Luster.
"It's certainly not surprising that
they would object to a brazen
kidnapping on their streets, and the
guy becomes famous in doing so."
However, Chapman's supporters are
lining up behind him.
"Dog is a hero to America," said
Rick Fass of Powerlock, a company for
which Chapman is a spokesman. "Dog
captured this horrible guy, and now
he's in trouble for it all over
— Staff writer Cheri Carlson, The
New York Times and The Associated
Press contributed to this report.
Wanted Posters in
the Thrifty Nickel smoke the one that are hiding deep. We
run a $20 ad in the Thrifty Nickel, the free newspaper,
and offer a reward, and using my 800 number routed to my
cell phone. Sit back and wait. Sometimes it takes a
while for the right person to see the ad, but soon curious
people call to see how much is the reward. I usually
tell them I pay $50 for just a simple a phone call telling
me where the target sleeps. ( I pay after the capture)
I once had a wanted felon that I could not find, so I ran
his picture. Wasn’t long till he was in jail and a young
lady called me and said when she saw him she called the
Police and they arrested him. It really does work.
If you have a small area, you can mail out a wanted poster
to all the businesses in that area with instructions to
post the poster in a public place. Be sure to give your
800 number routed to your cell, so you can answer the
calls, and trap where the calls come from. Some times it
is the Target toying with you, but if he calls you have
phone number and you can get him!
Car Chases...... Why?
device placed on the vehicle of
the person seeing your target will lead you to pay dirt.
We have the best tracking devise on the market. I have
had passive and active devices costing as much as $2500.00
but the ones I have now are small simple and mount
anywhere on the car by magnets in 3 seconds. It has a 4
day battery and you can get instant locations from any
computer. You know if you ever tried to follow a vehicle,
it is sure not like in the movies. You get stuck in
traffic, speed, bust red lights and usually lose your
Target. Could you imagine how easy it would be to put a
Tracker on his car and wait till he arrives to try to
follow? I sell out my units for $350
GPS Services page. We can overnite it and you will
have it the next day. It is as small as a cell phone, can
be placed under the seat, in the trunk, in the glove box,
in a back pack or magnet mount under the car. No wires
to attach, no antennas to mount. Quick and easy. Be sure
to abide by State Laws.
Billy Wells 877-524-0157