Read SF Chronicle Article.
On Thursday, February 17, Oakland Animal Shelter hosted a press conference to recognize the actions of an Oakland resident, Vince Faltis, who secretly video taped Charles Black beating his dog, Blueberry, and immediately submitted the evidence to the Oakland Police Department. This footage was instrumental in convicting Black of two felony counts of animal abuse and a sentence of four years in prison. Black will have no chance of parole and will also be liable for restitution.
The Humane Society of the United States, In Defense of Animals and the Oakland Raiders participated in press conference to recognize Faltis’ efforts to supply law enforcement with critical information that led to the arrest and conviction of Charles Black. The Humane Society of the United States is offering to pay a $2500 reward to Vince Faltis. “Mr Faltis is a true hero. His courageous act supplied law enforcement with the tools to fully prosecute Mr. Black for this brutal and savage beating,” said Eric Sakach, senior law enforcement specialist for The Humane Society of the United States. “We are happy to reward Mr. Faltis for his selfless behavior and for getting justice for Blueberry.” Faltis will be donating $1000 of the reward to the Friends of Oakland Animal Shelter. Dr. Elliot Katz from In Defense of Animals gave Faltis a certificate of appreciation and Jarrod Cooper from the Oakland Raiders gave Faltis a signed Raider’s helmet and will be bringing him to several upcoming games.
Faltis videotaped Black physically abusing Blueberry on June 30, 2009 and again on February 19, 2010. Black was on his balcony in both instances and Faltis was able to take the video from his apartment – partially hidden by trees and distance. This was a brave act since Black has a violent, criminal past. The quality of the first video was not enough to warrant charges; however, the second tape, in combination with the first, as well as physical evidence gathered at Black’s home, convinced the Alameda County District Attorney to press felony animal abuse charges against Black.
Oakland Animal Services Director Megan Webb stated “Abuse against animals occurs every day in our community and communities across the country. However, people often don’t report these crimes because of fear and a feeling that nothing will be done if they do. This story shows that reporting these cimes can have a big impact – Blueberry is now in a loving, adoptive home and Black is in prison.” Webb also stated that this case exemplifies how animal abuse is being taken more seriously by law enforcement and justice system. The Oakland Police Department, the Oakland Housing Authority Police, the District Attorney and the Prosecutor all worked hard to get justice in this case.
You can see a short clip from the video Vince Faltis took -please note this footage is disturbing: Video