47 cited at cockfight; 60 birds and $100,000 confiscated
A major raid on a cockfight in East Compton led to the detaining of 47 people, the confiscation of about $100,000 in bets and the discovery of nearly 60 birds Saturday morning, authorities said.
“It was a high-stakes cockfight,” said Aaron Reyes, deputy director of the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control. He said it was probably the largest one busted in Los Angeles County in several years.
Several other birds were already dead in the backyard of the house in the 14600 block of Castlegate Avenue and eight others later had to be euthanized because of bad wounds suffered in the fights, according to Reyes.
About 20 people managed to run away from animal control officers when the 8 a.m. raid began, Reyes said. But 47 others were detained and cited for misdemeanor charges of being a spectator, and some of those faced additional charges of being participants in a cockfight. If convicted, they could face up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine, he added.
The investigation into the fight and ownership of the house is to continue, and further charges -- including felony gambling ones -- could result.
The healthy birds were being taken to shelters, but veterinarians could not save the wounded birds and had to euthanize them.
After authorities received a tip about cockfighting at the house, it had been monitored for about a month before Saturday’s raid by county animal control officers, with assistance from local SPCA staffers.
-- Larry Gordon