UPDATE: Nipomo Mesa man in custody suspected of organizing busted Sunday cockfight

UPDATE 6 p.m.: Raymond Pinon Gutierrez, 52, of Nipomo was booked into County Jail Sunday on suspicion of animal cruelty after he was caught following the breakup of a cockfight he is suspected of organizing on the Nipomo Mesa, according to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department.

The event was described as a four-bird derby, which means that participants would each enter four roosters into the competition, according to an updated report by the Sheriff’s Department.

Authorities said they banded more than 100 birds at the cockfight site, with 50 fighting cocks seized.

The county Sheriff’s Department reports that it busted a cockfighting operation on the Nipomo Mesa midmorning Sunday.

Department spokesman Rob Bryn said that deputies and officers from other agencies found 300 people at a cockfight off of Heidi Place, between Zenon Road and Aloma Way — about a half-mile south of Los Berros Road.

Working off a tip the department received Saturday night, deputies from the department’s South County station, its Rural Crime Unit, police dogs from Guadalupe, State Parks rangers, Arroyo Grande police and CHP officers and a helicopter arrived shortly after the scheduled 10 a.m. cockfight began, Bryn said.

Everyone fled the fight, some tossing away money they had in their pockets, but 50 were caught and arrested, Bryn said.

Authorities seized several thousand dollars of cash, he added. Those arrested face a variety of charges, including cruelty to animals, Bryn said.

View Larger Map