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Suspected illegal cockfighting investigated

SHARK president Steve Hindi was treated at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Ironton for broken ribs and a head wound. (Submitted photos)

One hospitalized after beating

An investigation is underway by the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office after an incident on Sunday when anti-animal cruelty activists were run off the road after they were investigating alleged cockfighting on Township Road 267 near Waterloo.

According to a report from the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office, their dispatch got a call about cockfighting going on and the caller gave their location. Dispatch was told that one person was assaulted and one person was missing.

The responding deputy met with an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper at the 2000 block of County Road 4 about a crash.

The trooper said the crash was intentional and the deputy talked with the driver, Adam Fahnestock, a member of SHARK (Showing Animals Respect and Kindness), who said he and Steve Hindi, president of SHARK, were investigating cockfighting around 9:30 a.m. He said they drove through the gates of a residence on Township Road 267 when people noticed they were filming. He said

Hindi was assaulted by a man dressed in black.

The pair got into their vehicles and drove away. Fahnestock was followed by a tan truck which followed the rental vehicle for several miles and he said that it was “hammered several times in the rear of the vehicle, forcing him into a ditch.”

Hindi was taken to St. Mary’s emergency room, where he had staples put in for a large laceration to his head. He also had broken ribs.

He told the deputy that he was at the entrance to the cockfight when he was attacked by at least two men who kicked him in the head and ribs. He got away but was followed and attacked again. The men took his video camera. He also had a video camera, body cameras and drone controller taken away from him earlier.

The anti-animal cruelty investigators gave pictures of those they said assaulted them to investigators.

Lawrence County sheriff Jeff Lawless said the investigation into the case is continuing. No arrests have been made yet.