November 2, 2006
Three pit bulls are still recovering from a dog fight, and the man officers say was behind it has been in trouble before.
Richmond County Animal Control has a warrant out for the arrest of Charles Larke, Jr., said to have organized a dog fight in south Augusta yesterday (November 1).
Larke is on probation for crimes he committed in 2004: shoplifting, filing a false report and breaking into a car. He is the son of former Richmond County school superintendent Dr. Charles Larke.
It took all day for the warrant to be granted.
Now we're waiting for some serious charges of animal cruelty.
They're locked up and looking worn out...not exactly a treat for the three dogs recovered from the scene of what deputies say was a dog fight.
Animal Control Director Randy Teasley was called to the regency mall Wednesday after a sheriff's deputy witnessed a dog fight.
"They were in a circle fighting the dogs. All three of 'em," Teasley told News 12. "[The dogs] weren't critically injured, but they were bleeding. They had cuts on their ears and their legs from bites in their necks."
Teasley believes the fight was orchestrated by Charles Larke, Jr.
We visited Larke's south Augusta home. He was there, but he denied who he really was.
"And are you his brother?" we asked.
"Yes, ma'am," Larke said.
"Do you know where he is?"
"If he ain't here, I'll check to see if he's here."
Larke then went inside to quote "look for him".
Andrew Cloer lives in the same neighborhood. He admits he too has fought dogs...but not anymore.
"When I was a lot younger I did it one time," he said. "I got caught for it and I learned from my mistakes. I never did it again, never have, and I say that it's wrong."
Very wrong, in fact, if you consult Georgia's law books.
If convicted, Larke could face a $5000 fine and up to five years in prison.
"If we catch you fighting dogs in Richmond County, we're going to prosecute you," Teasley said.
Larke has not yet been arrested. We understand there may be some confusion among the two departments as to who will be making that arrest.
Officers say two other people were involved. They're both males.
One is 14 years old; the other's an adult.
One of them may have given police a false name, so they're still working to identify both of them.