Police raid cockfighting operation in West Oak Cliff




Posted on December 23, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Updated Sunday, Dec 23 at 11:33 PM

Cockfighting raid

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DALLAS — Along a gravel driveway in West Oak Cliff, drivers shielded their faces, shy to speak.

Their walk of shame led them to a gated property at 4747 North Counts Boulevard.

"So why are you here?" one man was asked.

"Just helping a friend," he replied, declining to be identified.

The roadway leads to the property where Dallas police raided an illegal cockfighting ring late Saturday night. Twenty people were apprehended, but many others fled on foot.

On Sunday morning, they came back for their cars... and there are a lot of them.

One man who did not want to be identified explained why so many cars were not being retrieved. "You either pay a ticket or you won't get your car out... that's pretty much it," he explained.

"It's $500," said Byron Flores. "It just sucks so much!"

Flores said he was hoping to pick up his friend's car, but walked away empty-handed. He believes he's being unfairly punished.

"Honestly, I think the ones that should get in trouble are the ones that brought their roosters to fight — not those coming to watch."

Gabriel Gonzalez lives two doors down from the property that Dallas police said had makeshift structures to house horses, roosters and a cockfighting ring.

Gonzalez confirmed there was a large crowd at the location on Saturday night, but said he thought it was a party.

"I thought they were out there drinking and partying, you know what I mean?" he said.

Now, however, Gonzalez said he feels he was deceived by the property's owner, who he claims had bragged about his love for animals.

<> "For this guy to sit there and tell me how he feels about his animals, you know what I'm saying? That he cares about him? All he cares is about his income," Gonzales said.

Animal control officials confirmed that dead horses were found on the property, and 200 roosters were removed. Some were badly injured; 15 others died.

They also seized illegal instruments used to harm the animals, in the effort to ensure this type of cruelty never happens again.

News 8 was told that animal control officers had investigated complaints before at this location, but no charges were filed.

On Sunday afternoon, City of Dallas spokesman Frank Librio said that the badly injured animals had been humanely euthanized. It was not yet clear where the surviving animals would be taken, he added.

A total of 23 citations were issued to individuals who allegedly attended the cockfight.

Dallas police said the owner of the property may also face charges for allowing the operation, since no one was living at the address.

E-mail sgables@wfaa.com