Chiefs DT Isaiah Buggs turns himself in to police, charged with animal cruelty

Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Isaiah Buggs turned himself into Tuscaloosa Police on Thursday after following arrest warrants were issued against him for animal cruelty.

According to WIAT Birmingham, Buggs is charged with two counts of second-degree animal cruelty after two starving and dirty dogs were found on a Tuscaloosa property he was renting.

A subsequent report from Patch revealed that Buggs was accused of shoving the Tuscaloosa police chief in April.

Buggs was booked and released after paying a $300 bond for each charge. He has a June 13 hearing set in the case.

The circumstances around the case with the dogs, as painted by the petition, are dark. Tuscaloosa police received information March 28 about two dogs being left on the back porch of a house. When police and animal control arrived, they found a grey and white pit bull on a screened-in back porch and a black Rottweiler mix locked in a metal cage in direct sunlight. Neither dog had access to food or water.

Both dogs were reportedly seized and found to be "malnourished, emaciated, neglected," with the property appearing to be abandoned. A neighbor told the authorities that the dogs had been on the porch for 10 days.

Investigators later determined the house was rented by Buggs, who was found to have been served with a notice of termination in April due to $3,116.90 in back rent owed. Witnesses told investigators that he moved out of the house on or about March 19.

Buggs has made $5.3 million in his NFL career, per Spotrac.

Trey Robinson, Buggs' agent, denied the charges and said his client is a victim of a "subversive campaign" to force the closure of a hookah lounge he owns in Tuscaloosa.

"Under no circumstance does Mr. Buggs condone the mistreatment of any animal,'' Robinson said in a statement. "The dogs at issue did not belong to him, and he was unaware they remained at the property in question."

Robinson said that Buggs was arrested twice at his hookah lounge on misdemeanor charges in the past two months "but each time no public record was made of these arrests." He added that the city was using the allegations against his client as "leverage" in hopes of Buggs surrendering his business license.

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 30: Isaiah Buggs #96 of the Detroit Lions looks on from the sideline during an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on December 30, 2023 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Perry Knotts/Getty Images)
Isaiah Buggs is accused of leaving two dogs trapped without food or water for as many as 10 days. (Photo by Perry Knotts/Getty Images)

Sadly, the pit bull reportedly had to be euthanized at the end of April due to increased aggressiveness and a failed heartworm treatment. The Rottweiler mix tested positive for Parvo, an often fatal virus for dogs, and weighed only 52 pounds despite being 3 years old.

The civil petitioner is seeking to formally seize custody of the dogs from the player and have him be taxed for their care, treatment, maintenance and disposition.

That isn't the end of Buggs' legal troubles, as Patch reports he faces accusations of menacing, assault and city code infractions at his Kings Hookah Lounge business. On April 14, police responded to an overcrowded parking lot and found 283 people inside the lounge, which has a maximum fire capacity of 83.

After the building was reportedly cleared and Buggs was cited, he allegedly became irate with officers, saying "these boys better not touch me" and "I'm not going in handcuffs." Buggs allegedly left the business despite being told he wasn't free to go, at which point Tuscaloosa police chief Bren Blankley tried to get him to come back.

Blankley allegedly placed a hand on Buggs' shoulder, at which point the athlete shoved him into several officers:

"A scuffle ensued and it took several officers to place Buggs into handcuffs due to his lack of cooperation," the arrest report reads. "Neither Buggs nor any officers were injured during the incident."

Buggs was reportedly taken into custody and released on $1,600 bond.

There was also a reported incident in which Buggs and his brother Detarion allegedly got angry at a woman for rolling her eyes at one of them and confronted her with handguns. Detarion is also accused of throwing a cup at the woman's car and hitting her in the face via a ricochet.

Robinson claimed he will bring to light the city and police department's motivation for targeting Buggs' business as part of his defense.

The full statement:

"Isaiah vehemently denies the truthfulness of the allegations and charges asserted against him today. Under no circumstance does Mr. Buggs condone the mistreatment of any animal. The dogs at issue did not belong to him and he was unaware they remained at the property in question.

"Furthermore, we believe the City of Tuscaloosa's decision to file the charges today is part of a concerted effort by the City of Tuscaloosa and its Police Department to besmirch Mr. Buggs' name and reputation as part of an on-going subversive campaign to force the close of his local business Kings Hookah Lounge.

"These efforts are not new as Mr. Buggs was arrested at his business on misdemeanor charges on two separate occasions in the past two months, but each time no public record was made of these arrests. Rather, the City used the threat of pursuing and publicizing both the allegations filed today and these arrests as leverage against Mr. Buggs by offering to drop and not pursue them in exchange for his voluntary surrender of his business license. Mr. Buggs declined the City's offer as he has serious concerns about the City's and Police Department's motivation for deciding to target his business, which he plans to bring to light as part of his defense of the allegations and charges filed against him and his reputation and business."

Buggs joined the Chiefs' practice squad last January and remained with the team on a reserve/future contract in February. He entered the NFL after winning a national championship with Alabama as a sixth-round draft pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers and later spent time with the Las Vegas Raiders and Detroit Lions.

Buggs might be a small player for the Chiefs in the grand scheme of things, but the allegations here continue what has been a bizarre and distracting offseason for the defending champions.

First, there was top wide receiver Rashee Rice's charges in Dallas for racing into a crash on the highway, followed by an assault allegation that has since gone away. Later, kicker Harrison Butker's commencement address became a political flashpoint (obviously, that's not a crime, but it did become loud enough to reach Chiefs practice).

Then, there was a threat to leave Missouri over a failed sales tax referendum and two players being arrested for marijuana possession.

At this rate, Kansas City's 2024-25 season opener against the Baltimore Ravens on Sept. 5 can't come soon enough.