Ving Rhames’ dogs had some involvement in the death of Jacob Adams this month. However, it appears clear that the dogs did not kill Adams at all, or that the death of the caretaker of the dogs could have been foreseen. (See my earlier post, however, about the danger presented by dogs of this size, number and placement in a residential area.)
In my field of dog bite law, there is a type of accident referred to as “dog fright” — a person is injured not because of getting bitten, but byreacting to a charging or threatening dog, and getting hurt in the process of reacting. The best example is Hubble v. Iseke, in which pedestrians fell off a short cliff while being chased by a vicious dog. (To download and read Hubble, click here.) Adams had some superficial bite wounds but died on the other side of the fence from where the dogs were. He might have fought off the dogs, run from them, and died from the effort or literally the fright.
Rhames now says that he is going to get rid of some of these same dogs. I suggested this in a prior post. He also has expressed remorse for the death of Adams. If we, the public, are getting the true facts from him and Los Angeles authorities, then Rhames’ words and actions are appropriate.
Not like Michael Vick. While Rhames gave or will give his dogs away, Vick and his buddies brutally killed 8 of his own. While Rhames expressed his affection for Adams and remorse at his death, Vick has said “my fans love me and will love me anyway.” While Rhames has been forthcoming and apparently sincere about the death of Adams, Vick has been angling to get a sweet deal from prosecutors even though his co-conspirators have confessed and pleaded guilty. (To read a Vick conspirator’s confession, click here.)
And don’t forget the most important part: Rhames was not present when Adams died, could hardly have foreseen that death would result from owning so many large dogs, and apparently has no civil or criminal liability for the accident on his property, while on the other hand, Vick was the ringleader and money-man behind a series of state and federal crimes that pertain to the depraved killing of animals for the purpose of entertainment.
So memorize this: Ving is not Vick. Ving is the one you will see on DVD, Vick is the one that you will see during visiting hours in a federal penitentiary.