Dog the Bounty Hunter doesn’t have a license to capture fugitives in Florida and could potentially face kidnapping charges if he did manage to track down and detain Brian Laundrie, a professional bondsman told The Post on Friday.
Duane “Dog” Chapman, 68, is currently in Florida — alongside hordes of law enforcement officials — trying to locate Gabby Petito’s fugitive boyfriend.
Despite the TV personality’s widely publicized manhunt for Laundrie, Florida has strict laws in place for people who want to go after fugitives.
According to online records, Chapman doesn’t have the bail agent license that is required in the state.
This means it could be risky for Chapman to personally try to catch Laundrie, according to professional bondsman Mike Harrison.
“I don’t think he’s personally going to put handcuffs on anyone because that’d be kidnapping and false imprisonment,” Harrison, who runs Harrison Bail Bonds and is vice president of the Florida Bail Agents Association, told The Post.
“If he finds him, he’s going to have to call law enforcement.”
It is illegal in Florida for people to represent themselves as “bounty hunters” after the term was removed from state legislation back in 2007.
“There’s no such thing as a bounty hunter in Florida. You have to be a licensed bail agent, which he’s not. Or a law enforcement officer, which he is not,” Harrison said.
“Obviously Dog is using this to help himself with publicity. He’s been doing this for a long time. He’s very good at what he does.”
Harrison added: “He’s strictly here looking for the guy and hoping to draw some attention.”
Chapman has never been a licensed bail agent in Florida, according to Harrison and online records, because anyone with a felony criminal history is prohibited from having such a license under state law.
In 1976, Chapman was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to five years in a Texas prison. He had been waiting in a getaway car when he fatally shot a 69-year-old man in a fight over marijuana.
Chapman’s spokesperson told The Post the bounty hunter is still “covered to apprehend multiple ways” if he came across Laundrie.
“There is a warrant for Brian. Any citizen who sees him can detain him and turn him over,” the spokesperson said.
“There also are licensed people working with Dog and also off-duty police.”
The TV personality has been documenting his manhunt for Laundrie on his social media and even set up his own tip line that he says has resulted in more than 2,000 calls.
Chapman also revealed this week he’d turned over evidence to authorities that he believes could prove Laundrie is in Florida’s Fort De Soto Park.
Laundrie has been missing since Sept. 14, according to his parents, and has been the subject of a massive manhunt ever since.
He is being sought for questioning in Petito’s disappearance and death after her body was discovered in Wyoming on Sept. 19 — nearly three weeks after Laundrie returned to the couple’s Florida home without her following a road trip.