Arizona Sheriff Uses A Tank And Steven Seagal To Arrest Cockfighting Suspect

March 23, 2011

Eyder Peralta

Screenshot
A screenshot of Steven Seagal.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is normally in the news because of his tough stance on immigration. But since Monday, the sheriff has come under some criticism for an amazing show of force.

Arpaio, reports Phoenix news station KPHO, used armored vehicles and a "tank" to execute a search warrant against Jesus Llovera, who was suspected of running a cockfighting ring.

KPHO talked to Debra Ross, one of the neighbors, who was so shocked at the show of force, she called 911.

"When the tank came in and pushed the wall over and you see what's in there, and all it is, is a bunch of chickens," Ross told KPHO.

The Sheriff's Department says the force was a appropriate, but Llovera's attorney told KPHO that the whole thing was "a stage, to help actor Steven Seagal's TV show, 'Lawman.'"

The show as taping at the time and KPHO reports that Seagal was on the tank.

Update at 6:19 p.m. ET: Phoenix's KNXV was on the scene shortly after the operation and spoke to actor Steven Seagal:

"Animal cruelty is one of my pet peeves," Seagal said.

The former action star tells ABC15 he took on a strong role in Wednesday's bust.

"I came in on the 150 and we broke down the gate," Seagal said of riding an MCSO tank onto Sanchez's property. "I deployed out on the side of the house, and guarded one side of the house, to see if anyone would run out."

Here's the video: Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.