September 19, 2014

Elyria
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Coop owner faces charges

Host of suspected cockfight could face jail time and fine

ELYRIA — A Lorain man who police suspect hosted a cockfight last month turned himself in Thursday morning.

Rosario 

Felix Rosario, 83, showed up at the county jail about 11 a.m. accompanied by an attorney, sheriff’s Capt. Richard Resendez said.

He was released shortly thereafter without being required to post bond. He will be arraigned today in Lorain Municipal Court.

Rosario has been charged with three counts of cruelty to animals and three counts of animal fighting, all misdemeanors. He could face a maximum of 270 days in jail and a $3,000 fine if convicted on all six counts.

Sheriff’s deputies raided a half-acre of gated land at the end of Lowell Avenue in Sheffield Township on July 29 after receiving an anonymous tip that roosters were being used for fighting there.

Deputies found about 30 people drinking next to another group that was screaming and pumping their fists inside the coop, according to a police report. Several people fled through the woods when they spotted the deputies, but Rosario stayed behind, telling the officers he was just having a picnic, the report stated.

When asked if he was hosting a cockfight, Rosario told the deputies, “Well you know, we like to have a little fun and eat some food,” according to the report.

Blood-soaked roosters were found in carriers on the property, along with pills to reduce bleeding, animal steroids and syringes next to the chicken feed. Blood-covered sharp objects that deputies believed were tied to the birds’ talons as weapons during the fight were found in the suspected fight circle.

A dead chicken carcass and severed chicken talon were on the ground near the coop, the report stated.

Resendez said no one else has been charged, but deputies are investigating whether charges will be brought against any other participants found on the property.

Forty-two of the more than 100 chickens were taken to an animal sanctuary in Ravenna, about 20 miles northeast of Akron. The rest of the chickens did not have enough evidence of abuse to be removed, Resendez said.

Contact Adam Wright at 653-6257 or awright@chroniclet.com.