Armed Rooster Kills Man at Calif. Cockfight logo with a gamefowl, binary code and two magazines on Cockfighting
Armed Rooster Kills Man at Calif. Cockfight
Cockfighting Rooster (CBS/KCAL)

(CBS/AP) Jose Luis Ochoa, a central California man previously convicted of illegal animal fighting ,was killed at a cockfight after being stabbed in the leg by a bird that had a knife attached to its limb, officials confirmed Monday.

Ochoa, 35, of Lamont, California, was declared dead at a hospital about two hours after he was injured in neighboring Tulare County on Jan. 30, the Kern County coroner said.

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Ochoa and the other spectators fled when authorities arrived at the scene of the fight, Sgt. Martin King told the Bakersfield Californian. Deputies found five dead roosters and other evidence of cockfighting at the location, he said.

An autopsy concluded Ochoa died of an accidental "sharp force injury" to his right calf.

"We've seen people cut with minor cuts when they put on the knives...but nothing severe," Lieutenant Rick Ko told CBS affiliate KGPE

Sheriff's spokesman Ray Pruitt said it was unclear if a delay in seeking medical attention contributed to Ochoa's death.

No arrests were made at the cockfight.

In cockfights, specially bred roosters are put into a ring and encouraged to fight until one is incapacitated or killed.

According to Kern County Superior Court records, Ochoa paid $370 in fines last year after pleading no contest to one count of owning or training an animal for fighting, according to the newspaper.

Lieutenant Ko said, "It's still against the law to participate in cockfighting, to be a spectator at a cockfight, and raise animals particularly for fighting with paraphernalia."

Attending or organizing a cockfight, or training an animal to participate in one, are all misdemeanors under California law, although a second offense is a felony.