Mansfield, OH – The star of the reality television show “Dog the Bounty Hunter” has announced that he has delivered messages to federal fugitive Shawn Christy, and that he plans to convince him to surrender.
“I have a very hot lead,” he said in a telephone interview on Wednesday, according to the Mansfield News Journal.
Christy, 27, has been on the run since mid-June, and is currently the subject of a nationwide manhunt spearheaded by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the U.S. Marshals, and the U.S. Secret Service, with the help of numerous state and local law enforcement agencies.
The fugitive is wanted for threatening to shoot President Donald Trump and the Northampton County district attorney, and is also suspected of having broken into the home of the brother of Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer.
Meyer was formerly married to 2008 vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin’s daughter, Bristol Palin, according to the Courier Journal.
The FBI said Christy is also accused of saying that he would “use ‘lethal force’ on any law enforcement officer attempting to detain him,” the Lexington Herald Leader reported.
Dog the Bounty Hunter, whose legal name is Duane Chapman, said he already had plans to come to Mansfield from his Hawaii home on Sep. 27 to host a speaking event focusing on substance abuse and addiction the following day, the Mansfield News Journal reported.
Chapman said that a friend of Christy’s family retained him to help out with the search, and that he has already gotten to work.
"I have delivered messages to him," Chapman said, without providing further details.
He said he is hoping to talk with Christy to convince him to surrender peacefully – a feat he believes is possible because he does not view Christy as a “career criminal,” the Mansfield News Journal reported.
“Miracles happen every day in my life. It’s a God thing,” Chapman said. "My goal is not to shoot him but get him to surrender."
Despite warnings from the U.S. Secret Service and the FBI that Christy should be considered armed and dangerous, Chapman said he does not believe the fugitive has a weapon.
He said he also believes Christy fell asleep and crashed the vehicle investigators found on the side of the highway on Sunday.
Police have received hundreds of tips from residents since the crash, including the theft of small items from several homes, WEWS reported.
“Like a pair of boots off of somebody’s porch,” U.S. Marshall Bill Boldin told the news outlet. “And food out of somebody’s extra refrigerator in their garage.”
“That could be him, not necessarily that it is him,” Marshall Boldin explained.
Christy, a Pennsylvania native, is wanted for a federal count of interstate communication of threats against President Trump, the Lexington Herald Leader reported.
According to FOX News, Christy posted a threatening message on Facebook on June 12, which referenced both Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli and the President.
"Keep it up Morganelli, I promise I'll put a bullet in your head as soon as I put one in the head of President Donald J Trump. Remember where you came from punk,” Christy posted.
Authorities began searching for Christy at about 5 a.m. on June 20, Robert Clark, a supervisor with the Marshals Service's Fugitive Task Force told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
"He is believed to be a clear and present danger to the immediate law enforcement community," Marshal Clark said. "He is wanted for making threats against the president of the United States and other government officials via social media.”
The marshal also said that Christy has threatened to "shoot any law enforcement officer who attempts to arrest him,” the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported.
A search near Christy’s home turned up nothing, and his father, Craig Christy, told WFMZ that if he had gone into the woods, police were going to have a hard time finding him because he’s a survivalist who can easily get by under the radar.
Christy has a history of threatening elected officials and authority figures.
He first made headlines when then-Alaska Governor Sarah Palin filed for a restraining order against him in 2010.
According to court documents, the former vice-presidential candidate alleged that Christy “falsely claimed to have had a sexual relationship” with her, and said he wanted to sexually assault her, the Daily Mail reported.
In his letters to Palin, Christy signed off with the tagline, “your magic enemy,” according to court documents.
He was sentenced to probation after he pleaded guilty to also harassing Palin's attorneys by telephone in 2011, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported. He violated his probation and later ended up serving two years in federal prison.
When Christy posted the most recent threats to Facebook, he was already awaiting trial for an incident involving the former mayor in McAdoo, WFMZ reported.
He was arrested and charged with aggravated assault for allegedly swinging a stick at then-Mayor Stephen Holly in 2017, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported.
Christy also pleaded guilty in April to making terroristic threats to a Berkheimer tax collection agent in Bangor. He was sentenced to 12 months of probation and ordered to attend anger management classes in that case, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
He was also charged in 2015, after he harassed a teacher and an administrator at McCann School of Business, and pleaded guilty in both cases.