Everyone knows that cockfighting can be deadly for birds caught up in the illegal practice. But, as evidenced by the bizarre recent death of one California man, the brutal exercise is startlingly dangerous for spectators as well.
Jose Luis Ochoa, 35, died Sunday after being stabbed in the leg by a sharp blade that had been attached to a fighting bird, police say.
Ochoa, who has been fined for participating in the illegal practice in the past, was rushed to Delano Regional Medical Center shortly after Tulare County police arrived to bust up the cockfight. Ochoa and others fled when sheriff's deputies arrived at the scene. Though it's unclear exactly how Ochoa sustained his injuries, police speculate that one of the birds' razor-like blades punctured Ochoa's right calf, likely severing a major artery.
"I have never seen this type of incident," said Sgt. Martin King, a 24-year police veteran. "People have been known to bleed out from those injuries if medical attention is not obtained immediately."
Also found at the scene were five dead roosters and other evidence pointing to an illegal cockfighting ring. In the state of California, a first offense being involved in a cockfighting operation -- whether running or it just watching it -- amounts to a misdemeanor. A second offense, however, is treated as a felony.
Ochoa had participated in cockfighting at least once before his death Sunday. Last year he reportedly paid $370 in fines after pleading no contest to one count of owning or training an animal for fighting, according to Kern County Superior Court records.
h/t Business Insider