Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Video turned over to police
ESPN.com news services
Michael Vick's lawyer says his client was "long gone" before a shooting took place near a Virginia Beach restaurant that hosted his 30th birthday party. A partner of the restaurant, however, told a newspaper that owners have turned over video surveillance that shows Vick leaving just three minutes before shots were fired.
Allen Fabijan, a spokesman for the Guadalajara restaurant, told the Daily Press of Newport News, Va., that video shows Vick "and his entourage" driving away from the restaurant at 2:07 a.m. ET last Friday.
"You can see everybody duck at 2:10," Fabijan told the newspaper. "I'm not saying that Michael Vick did the shooting. But he did not leave [long] before" the shooting.
Fabijan told the newspaper that the video has been turned over to Virginia Beach police.
In a telephone interview with The Associated Press, Vick's lawyer, Larry Woodward, said Vick left the restaurant at Town Center shopping center at least 10 minutes and perhaps as much as 20 minutes before the shooting.
Woodward stood by his timeline when contacted by the Daily Press.
"I stand by what I said, that Michael was long gone before the shooting, does not know who did the shooting and had nothing to do with the shooting," Woodward told the newspaper. "Anyone who says any different better be very careful."
Vick was interviewed by a detective Monday. Adam Bernstein, a Virginia Beach Police spokesman, said that Vick is not a suspect. No arrests have been made.
Vick was accompanied to his interview with police by Woodward and told police "he wasn't involved, he was gone before the shooting took place, and he doesn't know who did the shooting," Woodward said.
Police have not identified the shooting victim, but several news outlets identified the person as Quanis Phillips, one of the co-defendants in the dogfighting case that landed Vick in federal prison for 18 months. A hospital spokesman confirmed that Phillips was admitted to the hospital Friday morning and discharged that afternoon but refused to disclose his injuries, citing privacy laws.
Woodward said Vick did not invite Phillips to the party and had no contact with him there. Vick remains on three years' probation and is not allowed to associate with anyone convicted of a felony unless granted permission to do so by his probation officer.
An NFL spokesman said Monday the league is looking into the shooting and had no further comment. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell reinstated Vick last July after the quarterback served a two-year suspension, saying at the time that Vick's margin for error would be "extremely limited."
Police have said witnesses described the shooter as a black man wearing a white tank top and driving a white Cadillac Escalade.
The Thursday night party was hyped on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter as "Michael Vick's ALL WHITE 30th Birthday Bash." Tickets cost $50.
Vick, who is from nearby Newport News, was in the area conducting a football camp at Hampton University.
Fabijan told the Daily Press that Vick has been a regular customer at the restaurant.
"He's come in unannounced," Fabijan told the newspaper. "We've had absolutely no problems whatsoever with him or his entourage before."