By Anne Gonzales
A large cockfighting ring in Patterson was busted by Stanislaus County sheriff's deputies Sunday afternoon, creating a chaotic scene with men jumping into the San Joaquin River to escape authorities.
Officials received a report of a cockfight in the 11000 block of Cox Road in Patterson, south of Modesto, according to a press release from the sheriff's department.
When deputies arrived, more than 50 men rushed out of an old building on the property, including several who fled by jumping into the nearby San Joaquin River, the release said.
A search of the building turned up 35 live roosters in wooden boxes. Deputies said they also found about 50 dead roosters inside and outside the building. Animal control officers were called in to help with the investigation.
No arrests have been made at this point, deputies said. Anyone with information is urged to call the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department at (209) 525-7114 or leave an anonymous tip at (209) 521-4636.