Warrant issued against former NFL safety

Updated: November 25, 2003, 1:20 PM ET
Associated Press

DETROIT -- Former Detroit Lions and Seattle Seahawks safety Bennie Blades has been charged with failing to pay nearly $300,000 in child support, the state attorney general's office said Tuesday.

Blades is charged with failure to pay support and desertion-abandonment, said Stu Sandler, a spokesman for Attorney General Mike Cox.

A warrant has been issued for Blades' arrest.

Blades, who lives in Florida, owes $298,259 in back child support, accumulated over six years, Sandler said.

Blades joined the Lions in 1988 and played nine seasons in Detroit, before the Seattle Seahawks signed him in 1997. He was injured and released by Seattle a year later.

The Michigan attorney general's office has stepped up efforts this year to pursue legal action against parents who have outstanding child support payments.

About $4 billion in child support is owed to about 650,000 Michigan children, according the attorney general's office. That doesn't count the $3 billion spent by taxpayers to cover medical and social services for children who haven't gotten what their parents have been ordered to pay, Cox said.

Cox has said he hopes to collect $1 million in unpaid support by the end of the year.

Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press