The father/son gator huntin' duo from "Swamp People" are no bottle-smashing bad guys ... in fact, they were the REAL victims in a mini-mart attack in Louisiana last week, so says a rep for the reality stars.
As we previously reported, R.J. and Jay Paul Molinere were arrested this weekend after an altercation with a 24-year-old man that began on a nearby highway. The guy claimed the Molineres followed him into a nearby market and broke a beer bottle over his head.
But the Molineres claim they did NOTHING wrong ... and their rep says they were merely the victims in an aggravated assault carried out by "someone who is now seeking fame and notoriety."
The rep adds, "It's important for their fans to know that the Molineres are the same good-natured, faith-based family they've always been."
It's unclear if the Molineres plan to pursue any legal action of their own.
Over Beer Bottle Attack
9/7/2013 2:45 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Apparently in Louisiana ... when someone says "This Bud's for you," they don't mean the beer, because 2 members of "Swamp People" just surrendered to cops after allegedly beaning dude with a bottle.
Cops say R.J. Molinere and Jay Paul Molinere got into an argument with a 24-year-old man on a highway -- it sounds like a road rage thing. The "Swamp People" stars then allegedly followed the guy to a nearby mini mart and attacked him with a bottle of beer -- which they just happened to have handy.
The incident occurred last month ... both Molinere surrendered yesterday and were booked on charges of aggravated battery and released on $1k bond.
The victim is nursing a black eye, and a swollen forehead and jaw.
What a missed opportunity to promote the show -- they could have used a Gatorade bottle.
'Swamp People' Is Cruel
... SHUT IT DOWN!!!
7/12/2012 10:55 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
"Lost" star Dominic Monaghan believes "Swamp People" is nothing more than "shock TV" that glorifies the senseless killing of alligators -- and it must be stopped.
Monaghan went off on Twitter moments ago about the History Channel show, writing, "If my hero Steve Irwin was around, those shows about killing alligators wouldn't be on TV. I'm gonna stop them."
Monaghan describes "Swamp People" as "death entertainment" that "continues to demonize reptiles as monsters and animals that are okay to torture and kill."
He adds, "If alligator populations need to be controlled, I understand. But the act should not be glorified on TV. Disgusting."
And according to Dominic, it's all the History Channel's fault -- "I blame the network, not the people."
So we gotta ask ...
'Swamp People' Arrest Report
Star Attacked GF
with Lit Cigarette
6/21/2012 6:33 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
"Swamp People" star Trapper Joe tried to burn his girlfriend with a lit cigarette ... and then punched her in the chest with a closed fist ... this according to the arrest report obtained by TMZ.
Trapper Joe -- real name Noces Joseph LaFont Jr. -- was arrested for assault and battery in Orange County, Florida early Wednesday morning.
According to the arrest report, a witness told police Trapper Joe and his GF were arguing at the Buena Vista Hotel and Spa just after midnight ... and both appeared very drunk.
The witness claims he watched Joe punch the woman in the chest ... and then grab her by the arms and shake her very hard.
The GF told police Joe had received a call on his cell phone ... and she wanted to know who was calling ... but when she reached for his phone, he tried to burn her with a lit cigarette.
According to the report, Trapper Joe denied the allegations ... but cops arrested him anyway and hauled him to a nearby station where he was booked into custody.
A rep for Trapper Joe has no comment.
'Swamp People' Star
6/20/2012 1:15 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
"Swamp People" star Trapper Joe has been arrested for domestic violence in Florida, TMZ has learned.
Joe -- full name Joe LaFont -- was arrested early this morning in Orange County for domestic battery.
Sources close to LaFont tell TMZ, LaFont and his girlfriend had gotten into some kind of argument. The precise details surrounding the arrest are still unclear.
You'll recall ... Joe and his stepson Tommy Chauvin were nearly killed in a nasty 5-car pile-up near the Arkansas-Louisiana state line back in April. The pics were crazy.
Joe is currently being held on $1,500 bond.
'Swamp People' Star
The Emotional Tribute
to Mitchell Guist
5/16/2012 1:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
"Swamp People" star Mitchell Guist was testing out a new houseboat he was building at the time of his death ... a dream project he had worked on for months ... and now one of his co-stars has vowed to finish the job as a last tribute to the fallen reality star.
The man behind the promise is Glenn Guist -- Mitchell's bearded brother and best friend -- who is often featured hunting critters with Mitchell on "Swamp People."
Glenn's manager tells TMZ ... he's pretty broken up about the sudden unexpected death of his brother ... but he's doing better then they all expected, considering how close they were.
We're told Glenn knew how passionate Mitchell was about the houseboat project ... and believes completing the project will be the best way to honor his brother's memory.
As we previously reported, Mitchell passed away Monday after apparently suffering a seizure while on the bayou in Louisiana.
A funeral service is set for this week at a local church -- and Glenn's rep say he will begin work on the boat "after everything is taken care of with Mitchell."
'Swamp People' Star
Dies in Louisiana [Update]
5/14/2012 9:58 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
10:19 AM PDT -- Law enforcement sources tell us ... Mitchell was out in his boat along the Belle River ... when he "fell." Witnesses say he appeared to have been suffering from a seizure.
We're told another person on the boat returned the vessel to the dock and called 911. Emergency personnel responded to the scene and transported Mitchell to a nearby hospital ... but it was too late.
12:15 PM PDT -- A rep for the History Channel tells us, "We are extremely saddened to report that our friend and beloved member of the Swamp People family, Mitchell Guist, has passed away earlier today. Mitchell passed on the swamp, doing what he love."
4:11 PM PDT -- The 911 call, placed moments after Mitchell Guist fell, was just released to a local news station. According to the caller, Mitchell had a seizure then went into cardiac arrest.
Mitchell Guist -- one of the bearded alligator-hunting brothers featured on the reality show "Swamp People" -- has died.
According to WBRZ.com, Mitchell was discovered at 9 AM in St. Martin Parish, Louisiana.
Law enforcement sources tell us ... someone tried to perform CPR on Guist ... but attempts to resuscitate the reality star were unsuccessful.
Sources close to Mitchell tell us ... Guist had recently fallen ill ... but the nature of his illness is still unclear.
Story developing ...
'Swamp People' Star
A Boat Saved My Life
in Massive 5-Car Pile-Up
5/2/2012 12:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
For the millionth time, "Swamp People" star Joe LaFont's life was spared by a boat -- except this time ... it wasn't in gator-infested marshlands ... it was on an Arkansas highway.
As we previously reported, LaFont and his gator-hunting stepson Tommy Chauvin were nearly killed on Monday in a nasty 5-car pile-up near the Arkansas-Louisiana state border -- when a tractor-trailer (below) rammed the truck behind him.
According to LaFont, the truck behind him was towing a boat -- and that's the reason he's still alive.
LaFont tells us, when the tractor-trailer hit the boat, it turned the truck sideways -- and the truck T-boned Joe rather than barreling straight through him.
Joe tells us, "If it wasn't for the boat, I would have been killed ... It was like a bomb went off."
According to Joe, his F-150 and its attached cargo trailer were totaled in the wreck.
Joe didn't suffer any serious injuries -- but he says his neck and shoulders have been bothering him since the crash ... so he's visiting a doctor later today.
Joe says he does not plan to sue.
Involved in EXPLOSIVE
5/1/2012 12:40 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
"Swamp People" gator hunters Tommy Chauvin and his stepfather Joe LaFont are lucky to be alive -- after the pair was involved in a NASTY 5-car pile-up yesterday near the Arkansas-Louisiana state line.
Tommy and Joe were not hurt -- but according to reports, three other people involved in the accident suffered serious injuries. There were no fatalities.
According to reports, four vehicles -- including Chauvin and LaFont's -- had come to a stop for a flagman directing traffic around a construction site on the highway.
Everything was hunky dory -- until a fifth vehicle (a giant tractor-trailer) came careening along and smashed into the back of another truck waiting in line.
The accident caused a massive pile-up -- but the biggest casualty ... a bunch of "Swamp People" merch that spilled out of Tommy and Joe's truck ... and scattered across the highway.
'Swamp People' Star
When a Man Hits a Woman ... Allegedly
10/4/2011 11:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
"Swamp People" troublemaker Nicholas Payne allegedly battered a FEMALE cop on the night he was arrested ... and then tried to escape into the woods ... this according to Louisiana police.
TMZ has learned ... the 26-year old gator huntin' apprentice was arrested last month for allegedly striking a female police officer in the chest ... while she was trying to write him a citation for disturbing the peace at a private home.
Law enforcement officials tell us Payne tried to run off into the woods after the attack ... so a K-9 unit was dispatched to find him.
We're told one of the dogs located Payne ... and bit the guy so hard, the reality star had to be taken to a nearby hospital so doctors could treat the wound.
Cops say Payne's injury has since healed up.
Payne is still behind bars -- because he has not paid his $10,000 bail.
'Swamp People' Star
Arrested for Hitting a Cop
10/3/2011 5:56 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
One of the gator hunters on the History Channel reality show "Swamp People" is rotting away in a Louisiana jail cell ... after cops say he attacked a police officer last month.
TMZ has learned Nicholas Payne -- who served as apprentice to overall-wearing, American flag bandana sporting bad ass Bruce Mitchell -- was arrested on Sept. 23.
According to the police report, cops in St. Tammany Parish, Looooosiana got a call about a "disturbance" at a private home ... and when they got to the scene, Payne committed a battery on one of the responding officers with his "hands/fist/feet."
26-year-old Payne was arrested for disturbing the peace, resisting arrest and felony battery of a police officer. Payne's bail was set at $10,000 -- but he hasn't forked over the cash yet ... so he's still locked up.
A rep for History tells us, "Nicholas has not been part of the show since filming concluded last season ... and we have no additional comment."
Payne is due in court next month.
'Swamp People' Dog
Sayin' I'm Out for Good
Is a Croc!
10/1/2011 2:20 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
The loveable gator hunting dog from "Swamp People" is back in action after a heart scare.
Tyler was rushed to a vet back in January after a heart scare. The dog is a fixture on the boat during gator hunts, but he was sidelined after his medical emergency.
The good news -- Tyler is back in action.
The bad news -- gator season sucks, because of Tropical Storm Lee, which is wreaking havoc in Louisiana because it heats up and lowers water levels, making it hard for gators to swim and for hunters to catch them.
'Swamp People' Star
Mmmmm ... Rodent Stew
7/21/2011 5:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
It ain't your mama's Southern cookin' -- "Swamp Star" Troy Landry tells TMZ, he's working on his own little COOKBOOK featuring real backwoods bayou faves ... and it includes rodent stew!!!!!
According to Landry -- the guy who basically cooks everything on the show -- SEVERAL publishers have already approached him about a book deal since "SP" premiered last year ... but he's still weighing his options.
Landry tells us, he's currently compiling a master list of all his recipes -- which includes his most famous dish called "Nutria Sauce Piquante" ... a gumbo made from a semiaquatic rodent called a nutria ... basically an over-sized rat.
Troy says he picked up his recipes while working at his father's restaurant as a kid -- but don't worry ... we're told the cookbook still has kinda normal things ... you know, like deep South chicken (okay, still scary).
As for his dad's restaurant -- it shut down a few years back. Sad? Yes. Surprising? No comment.