Case Snapshot
Case ID: 19874
Classification: Fighting
Animal: chicken
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Saturday, Mar 30, 2013

County: San Bernardino

Charges: Felony CTA
Disposition: Alleged

Abuser names unreleased

Fontana police arrested seven people and seized more than 60 living and dead birds when investigators were tipped off to an illegal cockfighting operation Saturday.

A concerned citizen called in a tip late Saturday morning reporting a large gathering at a private business in the 16300 block of Boyle Avenue, said Lt. Jim Escarpe with the Fontana Police Department.

"When we pulled up people started running everywhere," said Escarpe Saturday evening as the last items of evidence found at the location were being taken away from the business by officials.

Officers became involved in a pursuit with two people who attempted to flee from the scene, but they were quickly apprehended, Escarpe said.

Investigators obtained search warrants for the property after the owner couldn't be located, said Escapre, and inside officers reportedly located a cockfighting ring, birds, both alive and dead, blades known as gaffs, used in the bloodsport and other evidence of illegal gambling, Escarpe said.

Escarpe was not certain if the seven people arrested were spectators or possibly connected to the cockfighting operation itself but said they were all being booked on suspicion of felony cruelty to animals.

"But this isn't just about the animals, which is a terrible thing, but this is a quiet neighborhood and we have people who don't want to have the fallout of illegal activities like this," Escapre explained as a small boy came out of a nearby home and stood on his porch illuminated by a porch light straining to see what was going on across the street from his home.

Investigators will attempt to reach the owner of the property, which appears to be a construction business, said Escarpe.

Authorities say, historically, they have seen more incidents of cockfighting taking place in the southern portion of Fontana because of the larger, more rural properties in that area.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact the Fontana Police Department at 909-350-7700.


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