Two accused of running cockfighting ring

Authorities working off an anonymous tip Sunday afternoon raided a cockfighting site on Samuels Road that the longtime animal control director said was the largest he had seen in East Baton Rouge Parish.

Seventy-five fighting roosters were seized, two men arrested and 20 misdemeanor summonses were issued, said Hilton Cole, executive director of the parish Animal Control and Rescue Center.

The summonses were given to people for participating in and watching the fights, he said.

The two men — Tien Dang, 42, 1854 Old Barnwood Ave., and Bao Dang, 30, 9400 Millwood Creek Court, both of Zachary, were booked into Parish Prison on counts of misdemeanor cockfighting after investigators learned they organized fights at 21745 Samuels Road, Cole said.

The two were later released after each posted a $5,000 bond, prison records show.

The affidavits do not say if the two men are related.

“It’s a barbaric act, obviously, and there’s no place for it in a civilized society, especially in East Baton Rouge Parish and the Capital City,” Cole said. “We will pursue with law enforcement every angle and every follow-up that we can to make sure we stamp it out in our parish.”

Cole said he suspects the person who called in the tip to the parish’s 311 call center was there Sunday when authorities conducted the raid and may have possibly been upset about losing a fight or losing a bet on a fight.

Animal Control humane enforcement officers and East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff’s deputies arrived together at the house about 3 p.m. Sunday and surprisingly found no lookout, Cole said. They walked to the back of the home where they saw two roosters fighting on blood-soaked ground and several dozen people watching the fight.

Once someone spotted the deputies and humane enforcement officers, “multiple subjects fled into a wooded area, with chickens in their hands and leaving money on the ground,” the affidavits of probable cause for Tien Dang and Bao Dang say.

Deputies estimated about 10-15 people ran, Cole said.

There were several vehicles unaccounted for once everyone who was givens summonses left. Deputies will work to identify people at the fight who fled into the woods based on vehicle registrations and license plates, Cole said.

Investigators found four dead roosters, two injured roosters, two hens and several baby bantam chicks at the cockfighting site, Cole said. They also seized needles, syringes, spurs, sandpaper, cages, money, a vial Cole said likely contained steroids and a white van outfitted to carry the fighting roosters from place to place.

Some of the items authorities seized, including the injured roosters and some eyeglasses, were found in a field right outside the wooded area, Cole said.

Cole said all the fighting roosters had to be euthanized because they were too aggressive, possibly on drugs or steroids and posed a risk to other roosters and people.

“They tend to want to kill each other,” Cole said. “ You generally euthanize fighting gamecocks. They are considered contraband.”

The hens and baby chicks are being held at animal control, Cole said.