DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Dallas police broke up a massive cockfighting ring overnight in West Oak Cliff.
Police discovered a fight ring, bet cards and more than 200 roosters, some dead, others badly injured after neighbors complained about a large crowd and loud noises.
Gabe Gonzalez, who lives two houses down from the property where the fighting took place, had no idea the cockfighting ring was operating so close to his home.
“No, I had no clue,” he said. Gonzalez thought the neighbors were just throwing a party.
But Dallas police had begun to receive several complaints from neighbors.
When they arrived they discovered hundreds of roosters, as well as illegal instruments used to harm animals.
Some of the birds were already dead, others were in such poor condition that they had to be humanely euthanized, according to Frank Librio, public information officer for the City of Dallas.
Horses, dead and alive, were also found on the property, according to police.
Police detained 18 people but at least two dozen others fled the scene when police arrived.
Vehicles were abandoned at the scene overnight, but Sunday morning, when the owners came back to retrieve them, they were informed they were being cited and had to show a driver’s license and pay a $500 fine.
“You either pay a ticker or you won’t get your car out,” said one man who did not want to be identified.
“It looks like this facility has been used strictly for cockfighting. There is no residence here,” said Major Edwin Ruiz-Diaz, an officer with the Dallas Police.
Police say the property owner will face charged for allowing the operation.
Dallas Animal Services and code compliance helped police with the investigation.
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