CINCINNATI - The dog barking that neighbors complained about in Price Hill on Tuesday turned out to be a dog fighting ring.
District 3 police arrested five people believed to be involved in the crime. Edwin Sampson, Leon Jennings, Willie Bullard, Tyra Henderson and Maurice Davis, mostly from Price Hill, are behind bars in the Hamilton County Justice Center.
"When the suspects saw police outside a couple of them tried to run. One did get away. One guy was apprehended as he was coming out of a window," Sgt. Mike Whitis said. "There were four more people inside ordered out by the police. They came out and were handcuffed."
Next door neighbor Delphina Avin heard the sound of dog fighting in a vacant home on the 1600 block of Dewey Avenue. While she witnessed the SPCA take one dog away, she said three others escaped. Police have confirmed that one dog is on still on the loose, after witnessing it escape.
"I came outside and I listened and was like ‘Oh my gosh.’ I thought somebody was fighting so I called 911," she said. "I live right next door, I don't want this in this neighborhood. This is a kids home, let them enjoy it, let them play."
Director of operations with the SPCA Mike Retzlaff said they are housing the dog they rescued. While the animal has some cuts, Retzlaff believes he will be OK.
"Our veterinarian will look at him and care for his wounds and needs and we'll keep the dog and care for him," he said. "It's a due process, if charges are filed, the dog will be part of that evidence."
Retzlaff said the SPCA officer who responded was bit in the wrist by one of the pit bulls before it escaped. He is doing fine.
All five suspects are being charged with dog fighting.
The SPCA would like to warn residents to call police if they see a pit bull roaming their neighborhood.
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