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The Kern County coroner says 35-year-old Jose Luis Ochoa was declared dead at a hospital about two hours after he suffered the injury in neighboring Tulare County on Jan. 30.
An autopsy concluded Ochoa died of an accidental “sharp force injury” to his right calf.
Sheriff’s spokesman Ray Pruitt says it’s unclear if a delay in seeking medical attention contributed to Ochoa’s death. Tulare officials are investigating, and no arrests were made at the cockfight.
Cockfighting is a sport, illegal in the United States, in which specially bred roosters are put into a ring and encouraged to fight until one is incapacitated or killed.
“When deputies arrived, people started fleeing,” Sgt. Martin King told kget.com in Bakersfield. “One of the roosters jumped at the decedent, inflicting some type of injury and causing his death.”
Authorities told kget.com that this is the first time they have seen a human die as the result of a cockfight.
“Number one, the sport is illegal in the state of California,” King told the website. “As far as the dangers, this was just an unfortunate freak accident. I really can’t compare it to anything or say anything else because that’s basically all that it is.”
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