Off Limits

Captive audience

 Duane "Dog" Chapman, the bounty hunter who nabbed Max Factor heir and fugitive rapist Andrew Luster in Mexico last June, was back in town last Wednesday, sitting in Casa del Rey, a Mexican joint in Commerce City, and enjoying his next fifteen minutes of fame.

The besieged waitstaff had no idea who the Mulleted One was; they just knew they had to rope off a section of the restaurant for some VIP guest while numerous cameras and guys with guns surrounded the place.

After a stint in a Texas prison on an accessory-to-murder conviction (for a crime he denies committing), Dog had kicked around Denver for years. He and his sister, Jolene Martinez, worked Bail Bond Row together until they had a falling out in 1999, and the former Devil's Disciple went out on his own, eventually taking his business -- and his dreams of stardom -- to Hawaii.

Dog bite: Bounty hunter cum TV star Dog Chapman.
Dog bite: Bounty hunter cum TV star Dog Chapman.

Dog has always insisted that he was thisclose to inking a deal for a reality-TV series, but somehow those plans kept falling through. Four years ago, the Learning Channel did feature Chapman on its "The Secret World of Bounty Hunters" episode ("A Dog Gets His Day," March 30, 2000), and then last year, the notoriety he earned with his capture of Luster at a Puerto Vallarta taco stand landed him on Hollywood Squares. Still, that wasn't much of a consolation prize: Dog had to spend time in a Mexican jail because his line of work is illegal south of the border, and he subsequently got stiffed on any reward for Luster.

But the exposure did lead to a deal with A&E to appear on Take This Job last August, and Dog's now part of the cable channel's "real-life" series. He'll star in his own show, Dog the Bounty Hunter, which "will follow the unique life of Duane 'Dog' Chapman as he mixes a high-stakes job, a combustible marriage and fatherhood of 12 children in a series with big personality," according to A&E's website.

And so big-personality Dog and his "Regulators" were taking a break from their shooting schedule at Casa del Rey, downing a few enchilada plates and waiting for the hailstorm to pass.

"It's going to be aired in late August," says Dog spokeswoman Frankie Leigh. "They've definitely got a season on the air, and they've picked up another season. They've caught a lot of criminals. A lot."

Leigh won't reveal who Chapman is hunting in Denver these days, though. All she'll say is this: "Criminals, beware."

All's fair in war and war: Some people just weren't welcome at the Capitol Hill People's Fair this year.

On Saturday, June 5, Deena Larsen found herself escorted off the Denver Civic Center fairgrounds because her tie-dyed attire festooned with "Bush Lied People Died" bumper stickers broke the rules. "Anytime people came up and said, 'Hey, that's a great skirt,' I handed them a bumper sticker," says Larsen, a Lakewood resident. "So I was not soliciting; I was not taking any money; I wasn't harassing anyone. Then this Guardian Angel comes up and says, 'You can't be in this park.' So I went back into the shade to get my stuff, and he saw me there, and he grabbed my arm and dragged me out of the park. This is so antithetical to what the People's Fair started out to be. That's where every nonprofit in town went. That's where you went if you wanted to volunteer that summer."

Turns out the overzealous Angel was only enforcing the fair's regulation that prohibits petitioners from being on the grounds. "We've been doing that for five or six years," explains Tom Knorr, executive director of the People's Fair and Capitol Hill United Neighbors. "We're trying to do a balance and trying to make it work for everybody. I had somebody petitioning scream at me because I asked them to go to the outskirts. They said, 'You don't even know what we're petitioning for,' and I said that's exactly right, and I don't want to know. Otherwise it would look like I was saying yay or nay to something."

Although Larsen did sneak back into the fair and enjoyed the rest of the day, she swears she won't return in 2005. "I'm just so upset about the politics this year that I paid $300 myself for the bumper stickers to give them out," she says. "I'm not representing any political group. But if the fair continues to kick people out, to just destroy the whole nature of the fair, then I won't go back."

Bucket brigade: Maybe Paul Tamburello should work for State Farm instead of Distinctive Properties, because "like a good neighbor," he's there. This time, Tamburello is there for the homeless.

The realtor has created an "Undie Bucket," and is calling on his Highland neighbors to donate new -- let us repeat: new! -- underwear, bras, socks and diapers for the city's temporary emergency shelter in the Mile High United Way building on West 18th Street.

"In a previous life of mine, I was a youth minister, and one of the things we learned when we worked with the shelters is that nobody ever donates underwear," says Tamburello, whose day job involves redeveloping the old Olinger Mortuary building. "A pair of socks only lasts so long, so it's the biggest item of need. We used to do Undie Sundays, but we're not really open Sundays, so we made it an Undie Bucket."

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