Friday, July 13, 2001

Counterfeiting charges top cockfighting




By Roger Alford
The Associated Press

        PIKEVILLE — Animal rights activists are outraged that sheriff's deputies, called to a popular cockfighting arena in eastern Kentucky, made no animal-cruelty arrests.

        They did, however, arrest two women believed to be passing counterfeit $50 bills.

        “It's absurd that charges have not been pursued against anyone else,” said Amy Rhodes, a case worker for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. “Cockfighting is a blood sport, and Kentucky law makes it illegal to participate in cockfighting or even to be a spectator at these events.”

        Pike County Sheriff Charles “Fuzzy” Keesee said two deputies who responded to a counterfeiting call at the Blackberry Game Club on Sunday didn't go into the portion of the arena where people may have been betting on rooster fights.

        “They didn't see any cockfighting,” Sheriff Keesee said. “I'm not saying it wasn't going on.”

        Cockfighting is a popular underground sport in Appalachia. It's not uncommon to see the colorful cocks tethered to barrels around homes throughout the region.

        Pike County Attorney Keith Hall said chicken fighting isn't a top priority.

        “As soon as we get rid of all the drug problems and drunk driving and domestic violence, I'm going to ask the police to mount an all-out effort against chicken fighting,” Mr. Hall said.

        Ms. Rhodes said police and prosecutors should take a tougher stand.

        “I think at the very least an investigation should be made,” she said. “It sounds as if they're brushing the whole matter aside.”

        Tina M. Mullins, 19, of Crum, W.Va., and Loretta Zeek, 35, of Kermit, W.Va., were arrested at the cockfighting arena about 1:30 a.m. on charges of criminal possession of a forged instrument and public intoxication.

        Both pleaded not guilty in Pike District Court on Wednesday. They remained in the Pike County Detention Center on Thursday in lieu of $5,000 bail. Both declined to comment.

       



Worker freed after 10-hour ordeal
Police veterans will lead task force against violence
Red tape to delay med tests
Big pot spikes Ohio Lottery income
Ohio River 'sewer,' Corps told
RADEL: 2012 Olympics
Jobs-for-youth promise not kept, protesters say
Man faces new charge: murder
Silverton jazz series in third year
Trio sentenced for looting store
Zoo baby beats the odds
Cinergy puts off N.Ky. plant
Marijuana 'store' closed by police
NKU gathers high school scholars
Woman charged in bridge scare
Financier says Butler can lure high-tech startups
Grinn-Barret brings smiles
2 held in passing of bad checks
Residential substance abuse unit to be built in Warren Co.
Shaken-baby forum called 'historic'
- Counterfeiting charges top cockfighting
Cyanide is blamed in deaths of Ky. foals
'Deadbeat' parents could be left idling
Kentucky News Briefs
State agencies asked to share in cuts
Tristate A.M. Report