From Sarah Frier:
A sheriff's deputy and an animal cruelty investigator were injured while trying to stop an illegal bullfight in San Joaquin County on Friday, authorities said Saturday.
Two men were arrested for allegedly assaulting them, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.
The fight in Thornton, about 30 miles south of downtown Sacramento, was the third in a week during which bulls were poked with sharpened spikes on the ends of sticks, or bandoleras, said Jane Garrison of Animal Cruelty Investigations.
According to the release, the animal cruelty investigator had come from Los Angeles on a tip that the bulls in the so-called "bloodless" bullfight would be injured. The bulls were supposed to be shot with bloodless Velcro darts, but would instead be stabbed by nails.
Garrison said the spikes were disguised to make them look harmless.
When the animal cruelty investigator attempted to grab the bandoleras, he was put in a chokehold by Darren Nunes (photo bottom left), 24, and almost lost consciousness, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.
After the bandoleras were thrown into the center of the bull ring, a hostile crowd gathered around the investigator, the release states.
As sheriff's deputies who were on scene attempted to gain control of the crowd, one of them was allegedly attacked and injured by Cesar Rocha (photo bottom right), 39, the release states. The extent of the deputy's injuries was not available.
Rocha was arrested on suspicion of resisting arrest, assaulting a police officer and inciting a riot, the release states.
Nunes was arrested on suspicion of battery and assault with a deadly weapon, the release states.
Garrison said the same person provided bulls for all three events this week.
When Animal Cruelty Investigations personnel showed up at the Central Valley fight, they loaded the bulls back onto the trucks and left, she said.
Animal Cruelty Investigations is a non-profit organization through the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals with authority to appoint humane officers, according to its Web site.
They've stepped up their efforts to stop bull fighting in California as a result of this week's activities, Garrison said.