Patty Mayo is a popular YouTube personality who rocketed to internet fame with the series Southland Bounty Hunters. But just how authentic are his action-packed, fugitive-chasing videos? Here, we get to the bottom of Mayo’s bounty hunting status and find out whether his videos are real or fake.
Patty Mayo Is A YouTuber That Makes Bounty Hunter Content
Born Patrick Thomas Tarmey in 1987, Patty Mayo first joined YouTube back in 2013. He kicked off his career on the platform not as a bounty hunter but as a prank video poster. “I jumped on the prank bandwagon at first,” Mayo said in an interview. “That was like my whole…I had this French character called Ze Oil Boy and it was this totally ridiculous, comical, college humor, Van Wilder-style comedy that I ran up until about 700,000 subscribers when YouTube’s ‘Adpocalypse’ hit and the algorithm changed.”
Unfortunately, this new algorithm did not favor raunchy, college-humor style videos, so Mayo decided to reimagine his YouTube channel and launch the Southland Bounty Hunters series. The reality-style show, which features Mayo’s girlfriend, Kayla, as camerawoman, follows Mayo in his “job” as a fugitive recovery agent (a.k.a. a bounty hunter), repossessing property and tracking down fugitives who have skipped bail.
Mayo’s popularity soared in 2017 when he teamed up with fellow YouTube star Bounty Hunter D. Together, the pair found themselves in extremely risky bounty hunting situations that made for truly thrilling content. Mayo topped the 1M follower mark not long after their collaboration and has been growing his audience ever since. To date, Mayo has amassed over 9M YouTube subscribers. In addition to Southland Bounty Hunters, he also produces a series called DBSO, in which he acts as the sheriff of an Oregon town.
Is Patty Mayo Actually A Part Of Law Enforcement?
The success of Southland Bounty Hunters and DBSO—and the realistic look of the videos— prompted many people to wonder if Mayo was an official member of law enforcement. The Oregon State Sheriff’s Association cleared any question up by releasing the following statement:
“Mr. Mayo is not a member of law enforcement, nor affiliated in any way with any Sheriff’s Office in Oregon,” they wrote.
“Oregon law is specific in what constitutes ‘Impersonating a Police Officer’ and making YouTube videos with paid actors does not violate that law. Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association and Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office will continue to review and monitor his activities in Deschutes County for compliance with Oregon laws.”
Is Patty Mayo’s Bounty Hunting Real Or Fake?
Even though Mayo’s videos contain no film credits or a disclaimer saying the show is fictional, the entire series is scripted and staged. The sheriff’s uniform and badge Mayo wears in his video is a costume and everyone in his videos is either part of his production crew or paid actors.
It was never Mayo’s intention to pass himself off as a real bounty hunter, and he makes sure to cooperate with law enforcement however he can. “We’re not sheriff’s officers. The intent is to create a production, it’s not to commit a crime,” he said in an interview with KTVZ. “And so that’s why before we even purchased the cars for this show, or any equipment, we sat down with the police department and said, this is what we’d like to do. What do you think?”
The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Department confirmed Mayo’s willingness to work with them, saying: “He’s been very good about calling into dispatch, communicating with law enforcement on the date and time that he is going to be making a video and letting us know where and when he is doing these videos, so that we don’t have a situation where we have a real cop showing up at a fake law enforcement scenario.”
Is Patty Mayo Still Creating Content?
While Mayo took a brief hiatus from YouTube in late 2017, he returned soon after with DBSO. He continues to publish new posts and says he loves working on the platform regardless of the type of content he features.
“I’ve always been interested in media, editing, I worked in infomercials with my dad for a long time–he had an infomercial company,” Mayo said in an interview. “And it’s just something I thought I’d be good at, I saw a lot of people on YouTube starting to make money and I was like, ‘Wow, that’s something that I could do.’…And I did it and I just fell in love with YouTube and creating and putting stuff out there and seeing what people thought about it.”