Saturday, September 22, 2012

Man mauled at Bronx Zoo to be arrested for trespassing

The 25-year-old man who was mauled by a tiger at the Bronx Zoo will be arrested for trespassing, according to police.

David Villalobos told police the reason he jumped into the tiger's den was to be "one with the tiger."

Villalobos is in stable condition at Jacobi Hospital with bites and punctures to his arms, legs, shoulder and back. He also has a broken arm and leg, police said.

"We anticipate arresting David Villalobos on a trespassing complaint by Bronx Zoo authorities later today or early next week," said NYPD spokesman Paul Browne Saturday afternoon.

According to Browne, Villalobos told police detectives that he voluntarily jumped Friday from the monorail into the tiger den at the Bronx Zoo and that his leap was definitely not a suicide attempt.

An NYPD sergeant asked Villalobos why he jumped into the den and he replied that "everybody in life makes choices," according to Browne.

Villalobos told police he sustained most of his injuries when he landed on all fours inside the predator's den after he jumped from the monorail. When he landed, he awoke the 400-pound Siberian tiger and spent 10 minutes alone with the animal before being rescued.

Villalobos told police he recalled being dragged by the tiger by the foot, and afterwards being able to "pet" the tiger.

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