DELANO, Calif. (AP) — A Central California man who was at a cockfight died after being stabbed in the leg by a bird that had a knife attached to its own limb, officials confirmed Monday.
Jose Luis Ochoa, 35, of Lamont, was declared dead at a hospital about two hours after he was injured in neighboring Tulare County on Jan. 30, the Kern County coroner said.
An autopsy concluded Ochoa died of an accidental "sharp force injury" to his right calf.
Sheriff's spokesman Ray Pruitt said it was unclear if a delay in seeking medical attention contributed to Ochoa's death.
"I have never seen this type of incident," Sgt. Martin King, a 24-year veteran of the sheriff's department, told the Bakersfield Californian.
Ochoa and the other spectators fled when authorities arrived at the scene of the fight, King told the newspaper. Deputies found five dead roosters and other evidence of cockfighting at the location, he said.
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.
According to Kern County Superior Court records, Ochoa paid $370 in fines last year after pleading no contest to one count of owning or training an animal for fighting, according to the newspaper.
Attending or organizing a cockfight, or training an animal to participate in one, are all misdemeanors under California law, although a second offense is a felony.