Police seize pit bulls after tape shows dogs fighting
By Sara Gregory and Sarah Nagem
Police took eight pit bulls from an East Cemetery Street house Friday and charged a Salisbury man with two counts of dogfighting.
The dogs ó four puppies and four adults ó are being held at the Rowan County Animal Shelter.
Salisbury Police arrested Brad Terrence Simpson, 27, of 520 1/2 E. Cemetery St. on Friday.
While executing a search warrant at Simpson’s home last week, authorities found a videotape that showed dogs fighting, Salisbury Police Chief Mark Wilhelm said.
When officers returned to the home Friday to seize the dogs, they recognized some from the tape, Wilhelm said. The dogs appear to be unharmed, he said.
Police searched Simpson’s home last week for drugs and weapons.
A police informant told authorities that Simpson, known as “Jersey,” was selling crack cocaine out of the house and yard, the search warrant in the case says.
The informant had bought drugs from Simpson two times, according to the search warrant.
Police had received complaints about the house “and several others in the area,” according to the warrant.
The complaints included drug sales, shots fired and fights, it says.
On April 23, Rico Baker was murdered in the yard of Simpson’s home, according to the warrant. Police believe “that weapons are used in the drug business to protect the drug dealer and his property,” the warrant says.
Police did not seize drugs from the house. They found walkie-talkies, power cords and chargers and a video recorder.
The search warrant, obtained from the Rowan County Courthouse, does not mention dogfights.
The raid last week involved two other houses on the street. Five people were arrested on charges of possessing drugs and weapons and assaulting a government official.
Simpson faced a $5,000 bond for the dogfighting charges Friday.
Anne Corriher, 70, has lived on Franklin Street, behind Cemetery Street, for 63 years.
Corriher said Friday she suspects people have been fighting dogs in her neighborhood.
“There’s no dogs that’s going to make that much noise unless they’re fighting,” Corriher said.
Corriher said she went to the edge of her property closest to Cemetery Street on Thursday evening because she heard dogs. She didn’t see any.
More than a decade ago, Corriher suspected that some Cemetery Street residents were fighting dogs. Once, she saw a dogfight in a backyard, she said.
Those people have since moved away, she said.
Corriher said she was happy police seized the pit bulls Friday.
Ed Archie, a Park Avenue resident, said he had seen the dogs around.
“They walk them through the neighborhood every day,” Archie said.
“Sometimes you can hear dogs fighting back there,” he continued.
Archie said he didn’t know if what he thought were dogfights were organized events. He doesn’t associate much with his neighbors, he said.
Some people standing near 519 Cemetery St. Friday afternoon said they didn’t know anything about pit bulls or dogfights. Police arrested a man at that residence last week during their raid.
The people there on Friday did not want to identify themselves.