“Dog” Chapman receives big turnout at signing

Dog Chapman receives big turnout at signing

Almost 1,000 people came to the campus bookstore Thursday night to see Duane “Dog” Chapman, star of the A&E television show “Dog the Bounty Hunter.”

Chapman was signing copies of his book, “Where Mercy is Shown, Mercy is Given.” Chapman, his family and entourage arrived 45 minutes late, but that did not deter his fans and followers, who filled the first level of the bookstore. Attendees included more Fort Worth and Tarrant County community members than TCU students.

Tim Fox, from Euless, arrived two hours early and was the first in line to see Chapman. Fox said he watched “Dog the Bounty Hunter” regularly and was interested in buying his book and meeting him. He has already finished the book, adding that Chapman appeals to him because he is honest and willing to give everyone a chance.

According to his Web site, Chapman is known as an ex-con and born-again Christian. He is considered the greatest bounty hunter in the world and has made more than 6,000 captures in his 27-year career, according to the site. He now tries to encourage the people he arrests to turn their lives around the way he did.

Taylor Witt, event coordinator at the TCU Barnes & Noble, said she was not surprised by the level of attendance because of the number of people who had bought his book in advance and had been calling in for information on the event. The event was coordinated by Chapman’s publishers and the Barnes & Noble College Booksellers Inc. corporate office in New Jersey.

Amelia Wenzel, a junior broadcast journalism major, said she had seen Chapman on A&E and was surprised that he would come to a “preppy” campus like TCU.

“I think most students are here to make fun of him or just see a celebrity,” Wenzel said. “I don’t think they really care about his book or the fact that he thinks what he does is Christian work.”

Wenzel said she thinks Chapman’s message in the book and the television show appeals more to Tarrant County residents than to university students.

Preston Patry, a junior political science major, said he had seen an ad for the event and was compelled to buy the book and meet Chapman. He said he was surprised by the number of people who attended and by the diversity of the turnout.