Over the weekend a popular cockfighting ring from Georgia received an expected visit from the authorities. The police came unannounced and raided the cockfighting tournament in Lincolnton catching both the ‘players’ and the fans completely unaware. As such, this raid resulted in the arrest of not less than 20 people while another 200 fled the scene.
According to the police, when the six officers deployed to the raid arrived at the scene right as planned, but some participants and spectators managed to flee from the chaotic scene leaving behind their animals and vehicles.
17 dead chicken were found at the scene in addition to the 50 vehicles that were towed into police custody for 12 hours into the early hours of Sunday morning. The reason these elements were confiscated is they will act as evidence against those involved in the illegal Cockfighting Tournament. What’s not clear is whether all the car owners of the vehicles towed were in the scene.
An article by casino.org hints that the police released a statement saying that they had been aware of an ongoing cockfighting tournament at the Lanier Hightower’s farm in the outskirts of Lincolnton. They were just waiting for the appropriate time to strike.
Hightower, the owner of the farm where the tournament was taking place, was also arrested during the raid. He is facing charges of running a gambling establishment as well being cruel to animals. Jim Wallen,
Lincoln County Major, said that Hightower has been very cooperative with the police and has not denied any of the charges against him. He also added that during the raid, the cocks were still fighting and they had to intervene to separate them.
Hightower told the police that there were 46 participants in the tournament. Each had paid a fee of $600 to have 5 of his cocks participate. The owner of the winning cock would walk away with $27,600.
Police has said they are looking for the 200 suspects who escaped during the raid. The fifty vehicles that were apprehended during the raid are being used to lure in the suspects. Wallen explained that their vehicles will be released as soon as they turn their selves in.
The police are giving them 10 days to do so after which they will have been considered to have forfeited their property. So far 5 people have turned themselves in and several others have called saying they will turn themselves in.
Cockfighting is an adrenaline-filled sport where two cocks are placed in a ring and forced to fight till the death. They even go as far as attaching razor blades to the feet of the fighting cocks to make it even more interesting.
Despite being a major sport, cockfighting is considered an offence in all the 50 states and a felony in 42 states including DC.
Transporting cocks across states for the sole purpose of cockfighting is also a crime. A person found guilty of being cruel to animals faces a sentence of not less than 12 months and/or a fine not exceeding $5,000.