Duane and Beth Chapman exclusive interview on custody battle

By Tim Sakahara - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The custody dispute over Dog the Bounty Hunter's grandson has captured national attention and local authorities as well.

"Somebody want to open the gate?" said Beth Chapman, standing outside her home after a visit by Honolulu Police Officers.

The Chapman's were visited at home by police twice since taking over custody of their nine year old grandson.

"We just have a steady stream of officers wanting to come in to do 'welfare checks,'" said Beth Chapman.

That's in part because of a miscommunication after the boy called his dad Travis Mimms twice in the middle of the night.

"I love you dad. This is Travis. I want to go home. I don't like it here," said the boy on a voicemail message to his dad Travis Mimms.

The boy called back a short time later. This time his father answered.

"Are they hurting you?" Mimms asked his son.

"No," responded the boy.

Despite that audio Mimms urged his son to call 911. The Honolulu Police officer wrote in the police report "they" were hurting him which prompted the welfare checks.  It's one more part of the frenzy that's centered on a confused 9 year old boy.

"It's traumatic. Hopefully he's 9 years old, he'll forget about this as he grows up," said Duane Dog Chapman.

In the audio recorded September 30 we hear the boy repeatedly hit with a belt.  It's that incident that makes the Chapman's believe Travis Mimms needs parenting help.

"I've told (my grandson) that daddy is not gone forever. Daddy has to go to school and you know what he told me, 'will they really tell him not to hit me anymore?'  I said yes they won't just tell him they'll make sure, and he goes (big sigh) 'good,'" explained Duane Chapman.

The Chapman's also explain why they are playing the events out in the media, including national outlets like Entertainment Tonight.

"A lot of times you can't have a trial in public, but when it comes to children you need it okay," said Duane Chapman.

Especially when he says there are child welfare workers who say they can't find abuse or danger at the home, despite the audio recording.

"Let me ask the CPS officer this, would you let Travis watch your kid overnight? You CPS officer that said its okay for the kid to go back in there, would you let big Travis babysit your grandson one night? No!  If you would you're fired!" said Duane Chapman.

He says even he as a celebrity, with his lawyer on speed dial, he can't believe how difficult the process has been to get action and can't imagine how regular folks manage.

"It is very difficult to show a parent abusing a child and get anybody to do anything about it. Even when you're me, even when there are cameras, even when there are tapes, even when it's the whole family, it is unbelievable," said Duane Chapman.  "That has to stop."

"Being beaten at 9 years old is not public policy. It is not okay and hell is not for children," said Beth Chapman.


Dog Chapman's grandson makes emotional calls

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