Cockfight Broken Up, 23 Busted

Cockfighting is illegal in all 50 states, but that didn't stop some people in Waterbury from setting up their own arena this weekend in a four-bay garage on South Main St. 

Police busted the cockfight late Saturday night after getting a tip.  In all, 23 people were arrested.

Inside the garage, police say, was a cockfighting arena, complete with a ring, holding areas for the roosters, and even areas for food and liquor.

A total of 51 live roosters, many injured and bleeding, were taken from the garage.  Police also seized $16,000 in gambling money from the participants.

While nearly two dozen people were arrested on charges including animal cruelty, police say two men were at the head of the operation. 

Pedro Santiago, of Waterbury, collected the entry fee for the event, and Juan Garcia, of New Britain, directed the fights and collected cash from the bettors, a police spokesman said.

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