Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Dog fighting charges levied

By Roger Bell, Roanoke Rapids Daily Herald

Roanoke Rapids police arrested a local man Tuesday on dog-fighting charges, with one officer saying it is the first such arrest he can remember in the city.

According to Capt. Andy Jackson, head of investigations for the Roanoke Rapids police, narcotics agents serving a search warrant in Brandy Creek Oct. 19 on Maria Avenue discovered evidence of dogfighting, including dogs with scars, at the targeted residence.

Jackson said officers served warrants related to those discoveries Tuesday at 3 p.m., charging Calvin Jerome Champion, 24, with two felony counts of dogfighting, four felony counts of cruelty to animals and three counts of misdemeanor cruelty to animals.

“The owner maliciously engages animals to dog fight,” Jackson said, “causing maiming to the chest, legs and face areas. The dogfighting charges stem from owning or possessing a dog with the intent that dog be used or featured in the fighting of another dog.”

Jackson said he had not seen a dogfighting case in Roanoke Rapids previously, saying most cases seem to come from rural areas. However, he felt the evidence pointed in that direction.

The warrant for Champion’s arrest expressed suspicion the nearly 30 pit bulls found at the residence were used for dogfighting, according to Jackson.

“In these cases,” Jackson said, “the officers found things that would lead them to believe these dogs were being trained to fight, (including) medications, weight chains, things of that nature.”

Champion posted a $25,000 bond and was released from the Halifax County Detention Center. He is due in court Dec. 8.

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