Police in New Jersey broke up a dog-fighting ring and charged four men in connection with its operation, authorities said Saturday.
Paterson police and animal control officers rescued three pit bulls from the dogfight, said the city's Chief Animal Control Officer John DeCando. One dog was severely injured, he said.
Responding to a complaint, officers raided a building at 198 E. 16th Street at about 10:30 p.m. Friday, investigators said.
Occupants fled as police entered the building, but police detained two and found a third hiding in a closet, DeCando said.
Two pit bulls in cages appeared undernourished but uninjured. Syringes and what appeared to be steroids were found near the fighting pen, investigators said.
Michael Coleman, 34, of Paterson, was charged with animal fighting, animal cruelty and maintaining a premise for unlawful conduct, police said.
Michael Rochelin and Jerry Mosquea, whose addresses were unavailable, were charged with animal cruelty, police said.
The owner of a business at the location of the dogfight, Erasmo Rosado, who arrived after the raid, told officers that he rented the space to Coleman to be used as a car wash, investigators said. He was charged with animal fighting, police said.