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Bethel Island Cockfighting Bust Ends In Animal Cruelty Arrests

BETHEL ISLAND (CBS SF) -- One man was arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty and two others were arrested for being spectators at a cockfight in Bethel Island last weekend, a sheriff's spokesman said Thursday.

A citizen called the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office around 8:35 p.m. about a possible cockfight occurring in the 7000 block of Piper Road, according to spokesman Jimmy Lee.

Lee said deputies arrived in the area and a number of people fled the scene.

Deputies found evidence that a cockfight had taken place at the location and arrested a Bethel Island man identified as Jose Guadalupe-Gonzalez Garcia, 35, on suspicion of animal cruelty.

He was taken to county jail in Martinez and was later released on bail.

Two other men were taken into custody for being spectators at the cockfight and released at the scene.

Contra Costa Animal Services officers arrived on scene and found a dead rooster as well as "cockfighting paraphernalia," according to Animal Services Lt. Jane Andreotti.

Although cockfighting is not uncommon in Contra Costa County, Andreotti said, it is rarely reported in time for Animal Services to respond.

"People don't tend to get involved in reporting these things because the people involved in cockfighting can be dangerous," she added.

Still, anyone who knows of a cockfight in progress within Contra Costa County is encouraged to immediately report it to Animal Services at (925) 335-8300.

Cockfighting is a sport in which roosters bred for aggressiveness are pitted against one another in a small ring and encouraged to fight to the death, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

It is typically connected to other types of crimes such as illegal gambling, drug use and acts of violence, according to the ASPCA.

© Copyright 2014 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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