'Dog' Chapman awarded temporary custody of grandson after disturbing tape surfaces

Published: Oct. 24, 2011 at 1:46 PM HST|Updated: Oct. 25, 2011 at 10:43 PM HST
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Beth Smith and Duane Chapman in February 2006
Beth Smith and Duane Chapman in February 2006
Wreckage from the crash that killed Barbara Katy Chapman near Fairbanks, Alaska.
Wreckage from the crash that killed Barbara Katy Chapman near Fairbanks, Alaska.
Barbara Katy Chapman with son
Barbara Katy Chapman with son

By Tim Sakahara - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -  Duane Dog Chapman isn't known to back down from a fight and now he's in a custody battle for his 9 year old grandson who he says is being abused.

The alleged abuse happened September 30.  Last Friday Duane and Beth Chapman were awarded temporary custody of the boy in part because of an audio recording taken by the upstairs neighbor.

The man is heard lecturing the child and cursing at him.  Then he says "bend over" and the lashings begin.  During the incident the boy can be heard crying and yelling "no more."  The man yells at him to move his hands.  Thirteen slaps are heard but the defense attorney has a different take.

"It wasn't bare skin and it was through his clothing and it was 3 to 5 hits on his rear.  He said move your hands because he didn't want to hit his hands he was going to hit his rear," said Jason Lewis, Travis Mimms Attorney.  "We do question how authentic it really is because they might have modified the sounds of the lashings, or the hits or the spankings."

Travis Mimms is the boy's father.   The mother is Dog Chapman's daughter who died in a car accident in 2006.

Mimms attorney admits Travis did discipline his 9 year old son with a belt because he got in trouble at school, lied to his teacher and hid the notes that were supposed to go home.

He says Mimms also spanked his son when he caught the boy stealing $100.  However he says that form of spanking is rare.

"Parents can use discipline. It is not illegal to spank. There is a lot of discretion there. There have been several cases where the courts have found and juries have found that there was not abuse," said Lewis.

Dog Chapman wrote in the court documents that Mimms is violent and says the abuse was reported to the school and the state but CPS or Child Protective Services did nothing.

"The reason why they did nothing, and I talked with Robert Sato, the CPS investigator, he said he did not find any immediate harm or threat to the child," said Lewis.

However Chapman was awarded temporary custody.  The reality star says he is not looking for permanent custody but he wants Mimms to get help and take parental classes before the boy is returned to the home.

"I was shocked and heartbroken to hear the recent reports of abuse of my grandson by his father, Travis Mimms, Sr.  I know Travis Sr. loves his son, and I know it's very difficult to be a single parent at such a young age, but I love my grandson and only want what's best for him," said Duane  Chapman, in a written statement.  "During the last phone call I had with my daughter, Barbara Katie, she said to me, "Please, daddy, take care of (your grandson).  Don't ever let anything happen to him."

"To hear the audiotape of my grandson being abused was torture.  We all hope and pray that Travis Sr. will be able to raise his son with the love and respect he deserves, because it's in everyone's best interest for them to have a proper father-son relationship," Chapman's statement continued.

Before the custody dispute there was a falling out in the family between Chapman and Mimms.  Mimms filed for a Temporary Restraining Order for the Chapman's to stay away.  The Chapman's countered with the protective order and their own TRO.

Mimms TRO request will be heard October 28.

Chapman's TRO and the next phase of the custody hearing will be November 4.


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