Exclusive: What Is It Like To Party With Duane 'Dog the Bounty Hunter' Chapman?

Honolulu Magazine - February 7, 2014
By: 
Diane Lee

On Thursday evening, tourists lounging on Waikiki Beach got a surprise when a reality television star made an unexpected appearance just a few feet away. As soon as Duane Chapman and his wife Beth Chapman walked towards the Royal Hawaiian Hotel’s outdoor cocktail bar for a private birthday bash, a crowd gathered along the picket fence with their smartphones and point-and-shoot cameras to snap candid photos of the celebrities.

“If you’re in Hawaii, you’ve got to get a photo of Dog Chapman,” one man said, smartphone in hand.

Chapman, aka Dog the Bounty Hunter, turned 61 this week. To celebrate, Beth invited more than 100 guests to a private party for her husband at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. Four camera guys (plus two more holding boom mikes) filmed the Chapmans’ every move—exchanging hugs, taking pictures with guests, greeting fans and meeting with reporters. Guests had to sign their life away on a detailed film release.

In attendance: reporters from the Star-Advertiser, Midweek and Hawaii News Now, Honolulu City Council chairman Ernie Martin, Honolulu Ethics Commissioner Stanford Yuen, Hawaii Sen. Mike Gabbard, local comedians Da Braddahs, country music star Chris Janson along with the Chapman’s friends and family.

Outside the Monarch Room ballroom, some of Chapman’s braver guests rode on a huge, inflatable, bull-riding machine. But the real party was inside. At one point, an emcee told guests to look to the person sitting next to them and ask, “Did Dog lock you up?”

Sen. Gabbard, who met Chapman in 2004 when he was a city councilman, presented Chapman with a framed Senate resolution honoring him on his 61st birthday. “Mahalo for putting your heart and soul into your work by putting dangerous criminals off our streets, protecting our people and our nation, while spreading aloha wherever you go,” Gabbard said on stage.

Before everyone dug into the buffet, Word of Life Christian Center pastor Art Sepulveda said a few words to bless the food. “In Jesus name, amen,” Sepulveda said. They immediately blasted the hallelujah chorus from Handel’s Messiah.

The spread looked ono [prime ribs, kalbi, Hawaiian style chicken wings, chicken and pork fried rice, imported and domestic cheeses]. It’s apparent the Chapmans have a sweet tooth; for dessert there was cotton candy, cupcakes, chocolate fondue, gummy worms, sour worms, gummy bears, black and pink M&Ms. There was even an ice sculpture of Chapman’s badge on one of the buffet tables.

While guests waited in line for the food, one videographer told us following Chapman is a dangerous, but well-paying job. When Chapman and camera crews went bounty hunting in Puna, they wore protective Kevlar vests for fear of shotgun-armed men.