They Drank Up the Evidence!

Wednesday, February 26, 2020 | 8:44 AM

“Sewickley, Pa. April 3-(UP) Detectives who raided a cockfight in a barn near here, said today they will have to drop charges of illegal liquor sales because the 102-man audience drank up all the evidence. When detectives appeared, the onlookers rushed to a makeshift bar and drank up all the whisky and beer before the officers could stop them.”

Acting on a tip from the Humane Society, Ohio Township Justice of the Peace William Lenzner, Jr. [pictured] and state police raided a barn on Dixmont Road. Arriving shortly after midnight in the early Sunday morning hours, officers found 75 automobiles parked outside a darkened barn, many with out-of-state plates. Inside, two hosts and their guests were watching birds fight inside a square ring. Admission was a dollar. “When the cry of raid went up, about half the spectators slipped through the officers. Some who had birds with them waiting for their bouts to come up, heaved the birds out barn windows to shift for themselves.” The law required that captured birds be given to charitable organizations or hospitals to be made into soup. Spectators detained by police paid $5 fines on the spot while the two hosts faced further charges. Curiously, most of those in attendance were named “Bill Smith”.     [from the Pittsburgh Press 3 April 1950]

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