Monterey County Sheriff’s deputies interrupted a cockfighting event near Soledad in Monterey County on Saturday, resulting in 42 arrests and 45 fighting cocks euthanized, according to officials from the Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies received information from a citizen informing them of a cockfighting event planned to take place at a house near Soledad on Saturday, authorities said.
Deputies reached out to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which has had prior interactions with the property owner, Sheriff’s officials said.
With the help of a California Highway Patrol helicopter conducting overhead surveillance, Sheriff’s officials said deputies were able to determine the event was in fact taking place.
Sheriff’s deputies, CHP officers, and SPCA officers arrived at 34509 Metz Road around 6:43 p.m. and detained several dozen suspects as they were fleeing the scene, according to officials in the Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff’s officials said they detained 42 suspects, including the property owner, Gonzalo Manriquez, 59, of Soledad.
Manriquez was arrested on suspicion of permitting cockfighting on premises under his control and the remaining 41 suspects were arrested on suspicion of being a spectator at an exhibition of animal fighting, Sheriff’s officials said.
Sheriff’s officials said SPCA officers conducted health and welfare checks on the fighting cocks and determined that 45 of the cocks needed to be euthanized due to injuries suffered from the event.