ROGERSVILLE — Hawkins County deputies found a garbage bag full of dead roosters, several crates of live roosters and a trophy with a golden rooster after interrupting a cockfighting tournament in Poor Valley north of Rogersville Saturday afternoon.
Shortly before 4:30 p.m., Hawkins County Central Dispatch received an anonymous call stating that approximately 50 people were engaged in a cockfighting tournament on Poor Valley Road across from the Price Road intersection.
A short time later, several Hawkins County deputies converged on the location, but by then most of the participants had left the area.
Those who remained were scattered in the woods around the tournament grounds. Deputies retrieved seven individuals from the woods, three of whom admitted to bringing roosters to fight, and four of whom said they were there as spectators.
HCSO Detective Chris Price told the Times-News Monday that because the seven suspects cooperated, they were each cited on one count of cockfighting, a Class A misdemeanor, and released.
When the Times-News spoke to Price Monday, he didn’t have his paperwork handy, and the names of those cited weren’t available.
When deputies arrived on the scene, they found a pickup parked off the roadway. In the bed of the pickup, deputies found eight dead roosters in a garbage bag.
Deeper into the property they found a large storage shelter with three walls and a roof that contained several crates with live roosters.
“There was also a big square stall they were using as the ring, and inside that stall there was lots of fresh scattered feathers all through it,” Price said. “There was also a trophy in there that had a big gold rooster on it. The trophy said, ‘Gobbler’s Knob 2013’, and it was sitting up in the corner, so I guess that was the grand prize.”
Price added, “Apparently it was a serious tournament. There was at least 50 people there from all over Hawkins County, down through Grainger County, and as far away as from Knoxville.”
Although each of the people found in the woods admitted to participating in the tournament, they wouldn’t comment on who promoted the event or name other names, Price said.
Price said the sheriff’s office didn’t have facilities to store the roosters and released them to their owners.
Price said the incident is still under investigation.