Dog the Bounty Hunter nabs wanted man
Pierrette J. Shields and Josh Quesenberry
© 2010 Longmont Times-Call
LONGMONT — Lights! Camera! Nabbed!
Reality television star Dog the Bounty Hunter, Duane “Dog” Chapman, brought his show to Longmont overnight Thursday after he and his crew nabbed a man in Greeley wanted on outstanding warrants for failing to appear in Boulder District Court on drug charges.
Najera Cameras for the A&E network rolled as Chapman and his crew confronted Rene Najera, 25, of Longmont, in Greeley. According to Beth Smith Chapman, Najera had heard that the bounty hunters were looking for him and eluded them by house hopping and using friends and family to flee from them.
She said the crew kept returning to a friend’s home on Antero Drive when they ran out of leads on him. Smith Chapman said neighbors gathered on their lawns to watch the crew’s attempts to find Najera.
They began their work in Longmont at about 4 p.m. Wednesday and followed Najera throughout Longmont and eventually to Greeley. Smith Chapman said they caught up with him near the mall in Greeley when he got into a car driven by a woman. The woman drove about four and a half blocks before Chapman’s crew used one of their vehicles to ease the car into a parking lot, where they forced Najera out of the car.
She said she could not offer details about the capture under her contract with A&E.
Once Najera was in custody, they took him to the Longmont Police Department, where he was arrested at about 2:30 a.m.
Longmont Police Cmdr. Tim Lewis said Thursday morning that, along with the outstanding warrant, Najera was booked on suspicion of two counts of drug possession, two counts of drug distribution and two counts of intent to distribute drugs.
Lewis said the bounty hunter’s efforts were helpful to police, who have been looking for Najera.
“It is a benefit to the community because Rene has been running from house to house for several months because he knew he was wanted,” Lewis said.
He said Chapman and crew have more resources to stake out an area where a suspect may appear, and sometimes associates are more cooperative with bounty hunters because they may have put up collateral, like homes, to help post a bond.
“They had financial incentives to help themselves,” he said.
Chapman works with local police before pursuing suspects. Lewis said police knew he was looking for Najera.
Chapman told the Times-Call the roads were clear during the early-morning pursuit.
“The only ones on the street were the fugitive, us and the cops,” he said.
Chapman told the Times-Call that he and his crew spoke with Najera before turning him over to police. Chapman said he had heard that Najera told his mother he felt Chapman would help him to get back on the right track.
“He’s a human being. He is 25 years old. You use this experience in your life to be the thing to help you change your life,” Chapman said. “He can never say he never got a second chance.”
According to court records, Najera pleaded guilty in November 2008 to a drug-distribution charge in Boulder District Court. He was sentenced in January 2009 to a year of work release and three years of probation. He failed to appear in court Dec. 23, 2009, for a probation-revocation hearing and failed to appear on bond Jan. 6, and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest. As of February, his court records show he had an unsatisfied $20,000 bond.
His new bond is set at $40,000.
Najera was being held in the Boulder County Jail on Thursday.