A raid on a cockfight at a crowded after-hours social club in the Bronx was reduced by authorities to a flight of customers and a flapping of wings early yesterday when a stake-out policeman apparently was recognized. Most of the 300 patrons disappeared before the police moved in and 25 birds vanished along with them. A bartender apparently recognized the policeman and gave the signal. The signal apparently sent patrons scurrying from a backroom, stuffing squawking birds with fluttering wings into sacks and cages. Before the police arrived, most patrons had burst through a rear wall with a sledgehammer and had made their escape.
Making the raid were an agent from the ASPCA and a plainclothes policeman for the 41st Precinct (Fort Apache) in the South Bronx. The club was the El Santurce Social Club at 785 Webster Avenue.
“There are a lot of Puerto Ricans and Hispanics who would like to see cockfighting legalized,” Assemblyman Armando Montano of the South Bronx said recently. Last month Mr. Montano introduced legislation for the seventh consecutive year to legalize cockfighting. Almost routinely, it was sent to the Assembly Agriculture Committee were it will likely remain for the rest of the session.
Excerpt from The New York Times 4/4/77