4 Pit Bulls being treated after dog-fighting raid
Flint, MI Genesee County
August 6, 2006
51-year old Knapp of Flint was arrested early Sunday morning, August 6th, at his home at 5417 Laurene Street after police responded to a call and broke up a dogfight being held in the suspectís garage.† A number of people went running into the night when police officers arrived.
Knapp and Swain, age 26, were arrested but released pending further investigation. Officers found various pieces of equipment used in dog fighting in the garage and four injured Pit Bulls in cages in four cars left parked on the street.† Animal Control Officers were called and confiscated the dogs as evidence for police.† The dogs were taken to the Genesee Animal Control Department Shelter and are being given antibiotics.† Some of them are scarred from having been previously fought.† The dogs will remain at the shelter as possible evidence, depending upon how the case against the homeowner proceeds.
Flint Police Department Sgt. Draike Sparks stated that a warrant charging Knapp could be seen early next week.
Update December 27, 2006:
9 of the dozen pit bulls found near the scene of the dog-fighting ring had either fresh wounds or evidence of recent fights. 1 dog, likely the loser of an earlier fight that evening, was found by police locked in the trunk of a car had injuries over its entire body. After hearing that, Flint District Judge William H. Crawford, II ordered the 2 men to stand trial on charges relating to a dog-fighting ring.
Swain is charged with attending an animal fight and Knapp is charged with animal fighting and possessing animal fighting equipment and felony firearms. Swain had fresh blood on his pants when arrested.
Inside the garage, police found a 12x12 foot portable pen, set up with plywood and carpeting, covered in blood. 2 injured pit bulls were found in the garage, while 3 more were found in Knapp's backyard. Also found were treadmills and other "exercise" equipment used to train dogs to fight, including a contraption that makes a dog cling to a rope or risk falling from a great height, often used to build up the animal's jaw strength for clamping down on its opponent.
The 2 are scheduled for arraignments on January 8, 2007.
Update March 22, 2007:
Knapp and Swain are scheduled for pre-trial conferences on March 2nd, 2007.
Update June 4, 2007:
Knapp was sentenced to 3 years probation, 180 days jail (with work release) and ordered to pay restitution of more than $3,000, court fee's and fines of $2,300 and is prohibited from owning animals. Knapp plead guilty and in the deal he did not have to face 4-year felony convictions. He will begin his jail sentence on 6/7/07
Swain plead no contest to conspiracy to commit disorderly loitering, a misdemeanor that carries up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. He will be sentenced on June 26th. Swain was originally charged with attending an animal fight which is a 4 year felony.
Other court documents reveal that Knapp is no stranger to the court system. In 2003 a protective order was issued to Donna Knapp whom had began divorced proceedings in 1998. In 1999 he was charged with disobeying a traffic signal in Mt. Morris Township.
Swain also has been in the courts prior to this conviction. In 2001 Swain was in court for an order of support under the family support act in Deshell Spiller vs Nigel Swain. Swain also was involved in a paternity suit in 2002 Roshandra Arrington vs Nigel Swain for which the case was dismissed as Swain was excluded as the child's father.
The Flint Journal
7th Circuit Court Records
67th District Court Records
Animals in Print