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Man Stabbed by Rooster? Cockfight Kills Spectator, Say Calif. Police

Amazon.com logo with a gamefowl, binary code and two magazines on Cockfighting
AP/CBS
Cockfighting Rooster (CBS/KCAL)

(CBS/AP) 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.

Jose Luis 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.

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.

"I have never seen this type of incident," King, a 24-year veteran of the sheriff's department, told the newspaper.

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.

Cockfighting is illegal in the United States; 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.

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.