- Illinois, USA -
The Will County Sheriff’s Office announced the arrest of 26-years-old EZEQUIEL HERRERA after an investigation into an unlicensed rodeo in Lockport Township.
In a media release, the sheriff's office said that on October 2, 2023, its detectives “received information regarding animal abuse occurring at an unlicensed rodeo in the 400 block of Oak Avenue in Lockport Township.”
As stated in the release, in the drone footage, an unknown man later identified as HERRERA, “began to utilize an electric cattle prod to shock the steers in the face and head. This was done repeatedly in an attempt to make the steers move closer to the alleyway of the door used to release the animals into the arena. The use of the cattle prod to the face and head of the animals was done in such a manner that it was disturbing to watch.”
The release went on to say: “During the rodeo event, several steers are observed to be in physical distress with injuries, while participants continue to utilize the steers for the rodeo.”
According to the sheriff’s office, when detectives interviewed HERRERA, he “admitted to using the cattle prod on the steers at the rodeo event.”
On November 8, 2023, Detective R.J. Austin met with the Honorable Judge Art Smigielski regarding this case and Judge Smigielski issued a criminal complaint summons for HERRERA on two misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty.
Court records show HERRERA’s first court appearance is scheduled to take place on December 15, 2023, at 9:00 a.m.
The sheriff's office also said that SHARK has provided detectives with drone footage of other animal abuse complaints that have happened at various rodeo events located throughout Will County.
On October 3, 2023, 23-years-old CHRISTOPHER DORADO, of Batavia, was charged with misdemeanor cruelty to animals for striking a horse with his hands and a leather whip at a rodeo venue known as La Herradura De Joliet, on 18225 Briggs Street in Joliet.
James Glasgow, Will County State’s Attorney, has been looking into cases of animal abuse at rodeos for the last few months and as reported by Patch, his office filed a restraining order against the club that organizes the rodeos.
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