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Tuesday, June 05, 2007
New Developments in Michael Vick's Pit Bull Fighting Saga

We've blogged a couple of times about Michael Vick possibly running afoul of the law due to the existence of an illegal pit bull fighting at a home he owns in Smithfield, Virginia (see "The Legal Process and Michael Vick" and "Michael Vick, Pit Bull Fighting, and the NFL's New Personal Conduct Policy"). There have been a couple of developments over the last few days:

1) Steve Wyche of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports today that the home was burglarized sometime between May 7 and May 18, with three plasma TVs and a leather sofa valued at $17,550 stolen. For some reason, the home's alarm was not working at the time. The county prosecutor, Gerald Poindexter, does not believe that the burglary had anything to do with the investigation. Along those lines, while someone who has seen one too many Sopranos episodes might wonder if the burglary was really an inside job to get evidence out of the home under the guise of a break-in, there is no evidence for that much more engaging, if completely quixotic, narrative.

2) Don Walker over on his Business of Sports Blog reports that Vick's association with dog fighting has already hurt his marketing power: discount airline AirTran, which is in a lengthy battle to take over Midwest Airlines, has dropped its relationship with him by not renewing its endorsement contract. It's not clear how much Vick earned from that deal, but he did get free airline tickets. Before the dog fighting story emerged, AirTran already had reason to question the value of its relationship with Vick, for as David Hirshman reports in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Vick was in line to board an AirTran flight in Miami in January when TSA agents found he had discarded a water bottle that contained a hidden compartment. Police said they smelled marijuana and found a "dark particulant" in the 20-ounce bottle. No charges were filed and Vick later said he often had jewelry stored in the hidden compartment.
The good news for Vick? Poindexter insists that no evidence has been presented that would lead him to charge Vick with any crime.


Amazing that there doesn't seem to be enough evidence to bring charges in the Vick/pitbull case. Why would anyone keep more than 66 pit bulls if not for fighting?And the condition of the dogs was not what you would expect for a real breeder.Informants have placed him at the home and during dog fights there. Local authorities(Poindexter and the sheriff) decided NOT to search the property for buried pitbulls because they allegedly didn't like the language of a warrant giving permission to do so was obtained.On the day the warrant was to expire the Feds came with another warrant and searched the property and did a lot of digging. They allegedly took evidence. So....why can't he be charged? If it was an ordinary person he or she would have been charged based on all the circumstantial evidence so far. Kudos to the news media of Hampton Roads for staying on top of this story and not sweeping it under the rug.

Anonymous Anonymous -- 6/10/2007 9:48 PM  

Its about time this slaughtering of dogs for money and "sport" is exposed. Because Vick is a celebrity of sorts this case could serve as an example to stop this barbaric practice. Its more prevalent than people think and also puts humans in danger just by raising them from birth to be vicious. Its a cruel cruel practice and anybody that has ANYTHING to do with this should be punished to the full extent of the law. These dogs don't want to fight. They don't have a choice. It turns my stomach.

Anonymous Anonymous -- 7/07/2007 7:36 AM  

I,m amazed he hasnt used the race yet, he will to justify hisself . He has no excuse, to bad he can't be put inthe pit, that I would watch, he is tuly a digusting creature , a true human being wouldn't torture animals for pleasure . Hell isn't good enough place for him .

Anonymous Anonymous -- 7/20/2007 12:48 PM  

I do agree that what he did is wrong, why,because dog fighting today is not the same as in the 40's 50's an 60's doctors that cared for humans fought dogs an chickens. lawyers,judges,postmen an yes policemen of small towns an cities.
this was an should be a gentlemans sport for the honest an real knowledge of game dogs- america's breed,shame on anybody that bash an trash this historical animal that is the best of the k-9 world hands down even an american war hero.
Before you all make judgment get some real hard facts about the pitbull before you speak just a bunch of bull.You say pit-ing is bad well who watches wwe,ufc HBO BOXING,WE ARE FROM A BLOOD SPORT CULTURE, ROMANS GERMANS ALL OVER THE WORLD WE FIGHT KILL MURDER WE AS HUMNAS DO VERY BAD THINGS ON THE DAILY WHY DO WE HAVE SO MANY PRISONS, DOGS DON'T TALK , THEY CAN'T TAKE CARE OF THEM SELF WE HAVE TO DO IT AS HUMAN SHOULD.

Anonymous ebl -- 7/26/2007 11:08 PM  

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