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New York, NY - Man Mauled By Tiger At Bronx Zoo Pleads Not Guilty

Published on: January 11, 2013 03:09 PM
By: AP
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This Friday, Sept. 21, 2012 image from video provided by WABC shows authorities investigating the scene where a man was mauled by a tiger at the Bronx Zoo in New York. (Photo: AP)This Friday, Sept. 21, 2012 image from video provided by WABC shows authorities investigating the scene where a man was mauled by a tiger at the Bronx Zoo in New York. (Photo: AP)

New York, NY - A man who jumped into a tiger den at the Bronx Zoo and was mauled by a 400-pound animal told police, “Everyone makes choices,” a court complaint says.

David Villalobos, 25, of Mahopac, was arraigned Friday in a Bronx courthouse and pleaded not guilty to trespassing charges. He returns to court March 12.

On Sept. 21, Villalobos jumped from a monorail train that tours the zoo’s Wild Asia exhibit. He cleared a 16-foot-high fence and was attacked and dragged by a Siberian tiger named Bashuta.

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Villalobos suffered bites on his arms, legs, shoulders and back. He also had a broken right shoulder, right rib, right ankle and pelvis and a collapsed lung.

In the complaint, police Sgt. Peter Monopoli says that when Villalobos was asked why he jumped, he said, “Everyone makes choices and we have our reasons in life why we do things.”

He told another investigator, “I was testing my natural fear, you would not understand,” the complaint says. “It is a spiritual thing, I wanted to be at one with the tiger.”

Villalobos was alone with the tiger for about 10 minutes before he was rescued by workers who used a fire extinguisher to chase the animal away.

Zoo director Jim Breheny said at the time: “The tiger did nothing wrong. ... somebody was deliberately trying to endanger themselves.”

A call to Villalobos’ attorney, Corey Sokoler, was not immediately returned.


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1

 Jan 11, 2013 at 03:31 PM gitgezogt Says:

Looks like its not a free country after all if you can't make your own choices

2

 Jan 11, 2013 at 03:50 PM DRE53 Says:

They should've left him there

3

 Jan 12, 2013 at 08:42 AM PaulinSaudi Says:

What would he be charged with? Feeding the animals?

4

 Jan 12, 2013 at 01:38 PM Shimon Says:

So is he proud of it that he survived 10 minutes with a tiger?
I think a tiger can take 15 minutes in killing another animal, as seen in natural goegraphic. VERY graphic!
A lion would do it quicker.

5

 Jan 12, 2013 at 06:59 PM Melech Says:

Granted that it was a stupid and reckless act; however, this individual has suffered enough from his physical injuries. It was a miracle that this person survived. Therefore, I think that a little compassion from the readers on this site would certainly be in order. When he recovers, this individual should be sentenced to community service, but not near the zoo.

6

 Jan 13, 2013 at 12:35 AM esther Says:

Reply to #5  
Melech Says:

Granted that it was a stupid and reckless act; however, this individual has suffered enough from his physical injuries. It was a miracle that this person survived. Therefore, I think that a little compassion from the readers on this site would certainly be in order. When he recovers, this individual should be sentenced to community service, but not near the zoo.

don't you think it sounds like this man has some serious mental heath issues and that what he needs is court ordered psych services?

7

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