Warrant issued against former NFL safety

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.