By Victoria E. Freile, Democrat and Chronicle
Two Rochester men accused of holding a dog fight last night both pleaded not guilty today in City Court.
Carlos I. Contreras, 37, of Pullman Street and Andrew W. Liberi, 34, of Norton Street were both charged with animal fighting, a felony, according to City Court documents.
The two men are accused of possessing six pit bulls and encouraging the dogs to fight at 342 Norton St. last night. Liberi, who lives at the Norton Street residence, was also charged with second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and third-degree criminal possession of marijuana, both felonies, according to court documents.
Richard Gerbasi, vice president of operations for the Humane Society of Greater Rochester, said a concerned neighbor called police yesterday and the responding officers found the dogs, animal fighting paraphernalia and several people at the residence about 8:30 p.m.
The dogs were seized and will be taken to the Humane Society’s Lollypop Farm in Perinton to be evaluated, Gerbasi said.
Officers found a loaded handgun in Liberi’s parked van, and found marijuana in his bedroom, according to City Court records.
Five people were apprehended at the scene, including Contreras and Liberi.
Additional animal cruelty charges are pending, Gerbasi said.
Contreras and Liberi today were remanded to the Monroe County Jail. Contreras is being held on $2,000 cash bail or $6,000 bond and Liberi is being held in lieu of $7,000 cash bail or $21,000 bond.
Both men are expected to return to court to answer the charges this week.
Contreras will return at 11 a.m. tomorrow to appear with an attorney and Liberi’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday.