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10 January 2006

college football star Marcus Vick's 9-Alarm Mess

Marcus Vick (MSNBC)

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The Daily Press
Hampton Roads, Virginia USA
Tuesday 10 January 2006 2:21 PM

Marcus Vick arrested
on gun charge

The Warwick High graduate and former Virginia Tech quarterback turns himself in Monday on counts of brandishing a firearm in Suffolk on Sunday.


SUFFOLK -- Marcus Vick was charged Monday with three counts of brandishing a firearm at a McDonald's in Suffolk on Sunday- - one day after he formally announced plans to turn pro and two days after he was dismissed from the Virginia Tech football team.

Vick, 21, turned himself in to the Suffolk Magistrate's Office after three warrants were issued for his arrest. Bond was set at $10,000, said Suffolk Police Lt. Debbie George. Vick posted the bond and was released, according to his lawyer, Larry Woodward. Vick is scheduled to appear Thursday morning in Suffolk General District Court. Suffolk police received a call Sunday at 9:04 p.m. from a parent who said Vick pointed a weapon at her son and two others during a confrontation at the McDonald's on Town Point Road, George said.

Brandishing a firearm is a Class 1 misdemeanor and is punishable by up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine.

Vick did not return calls to his cell phone Monday.

Dearnta Thomas, an 18-year-old Suffolk native, said he was at the McDonald's on Sunday night with three friends and one of his cousins when Vick and a female passenger, whom Vick described as his girlfriend, pulled up in a white BMW 745.

Thomas said two of his friends were arguing in front of the McDonald's door when one called the other a "bitch." Vick's girlfriend, who was trying to get into the restaurant, went back to the car and told Vick that they called her a "bitch."

Thomas said Vick got out of the car with a gun, walked over and pointed it at them and asked, "Who said my girlfriend is a bitch?"

Thomas responded: "Nobody said your girlfriend is a bitch, man."

Thomas said his cousin then recognized Vick and exclaimed: "That's Marcus Vick, man."

"That's when (Vick) went back to the car and drove off real fast," Thomas said. Thomas said he went home and discussed the incident with his mother, who called the police.

"A person like (Vick) I thought would have more self-respect than to come up and pull a gun without talking to us first to find out what was going on," Thomas said.

"I didn't know if he was going to use it or what. I told the officer I talked to, 'What if it had gone off in his hand while he was pointing it at us?' "

Vick, who was an All-Atlantic Coast Conference first team selection this past season as a junior, must now prepare for an uncertain future in football. Monday's arrest will make Vick's road to the NFL longer, according to a NFL source who asked to remain anonymous because he may have business dealings with Vick in the future.

"This latest situation, in addition to what he had done in the past, will have a very, very dramatic effect on his (draft) status," said the source, who has direct knowledge of contract negotiations.

"What (NFL teams are) going to wonder is 'What's his motivation for playing in the NFL?' They might think if he screws up or makes a mistake off the field, well ... he's not going to work as hard to fix things as some other kid who's working hard just to make it (in the league) might because Marcus is already financially well off."

Vick, a Warwick High graduate and the younger brother of former Tech quarterback and Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick, was dismissed from Tech's football team Friday. Tech president Charles Steger called Marcus Vick's dismissal "a cumulative effect of legal infractions and unsportsmanlike play."

In 2004, Vick was convicted of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, followed by a conviction of reckless driving and possession of marijuana. He was suspended from Tech for the fall semester in 2004 because of the two incidents. Upon his re-enrollment at the university in January 2005, Steger warned, "If there is any more trouble, (Vick's) Virginia Tech career is effectively ended."

Two incidents that occurred 16 days apart in December and January contributed to Vick's dismissal.

On Jan. 2, he stomped on the left leg of Louisville's Elvis Dumervil after a play in the Gator Bowl, which Tech won 35-24. Virginia Tech athletic director Jim Weaver said he was embarrassed by the incident.

Tech football coach Frank Beamer was going to meet with Vick and Vick's mother, Brenda Boddie, on Friday to tell him he was going to be suspended for the first two games of the 2006 season because of the stomp.

As Beamer was on his way, news broke that Vick was pulled over Dec. 17 at 3:31 a.m. in Hampton and charged with driving 38 mph in a 25 mph zone and driving with a suspended license.

Vick told Beamer on Dec. 19 that his license was suspended, but didn't tell Beamer he was issued any tickets, according to John Ballein, the university's director of football operations.

Friday afternoon, soon after Beamer, Steger and Weaver learned of the speeding and suspended license tickets, they decided to dismiss Vick from the team, citing the zero-tolerance policy Steger described when Vick was reinstated in January.

Vick announced his intentions to turn pro on Saturday.

Boddie did not return calls to her home. Beamer did not return calls to his office.

Virginia Tech spokesman Larry Hincker told The Associated Press that the university would have no comment. "At this point, I think the actions speak for themselves," he said.

Copyright © Daily Press


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