New York News
Bronx Zoo tiger jumper pleads guilty
NEW YORK (WABC) -- David Villalobos, the man who jumped into a tiger exhibit at the Bronx Zoo last year, has changed his plea to guilty at a court appearance in Bronx Criminal Court on Tuesday.
Villalobos pleaded guilty to trespassing - the same charge to which he had pleaded not guilty last March.
He was sentenced to a conditional discharge. He had faced a maximum penalty of a year in jail. Instead, he must complete one year of mental health treatment.
Villalobos jumped from the Bronx Zoo's monorail into the Wild Asia exhibit last September and was mauled by a 400-pound Siberian tiger named Bachuta.
The 25-year-old suffered broken bones and some bites during the incident.
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."
Villalobos' parents blame the drug Adderall for his behavior.
nyc news, bronx news, new york news
- East Harlem debris cleared in search for cause 14 min ago
- Photos: Accuweather maps for possible Monday snow
- AccuWeather: Cold Sunday 47 min ago
- Live: Eyewitness News on 7online streamed live!
- East Harlem Explosion: How to Help
- Photos: East Harlem explosion
- Mayor names Kathryn Garcia new head of sanitation
- Out of control bus hits cars in Brooklyn; 5 hurt
- Photos: Bus hits cars in Brooklyn
- Man, 65, shot to death on street in Clinton Hill
- Widow of Short Hills mall carjacking victim files suit
- Firefighters respond to brush fire near JFK 51 min ago
- LI hospital flooded with phone calls after insulin scare
- Malaysian leader: Plane's system deliberately disabled 8 min ago
- Malaysian leader: Plane's system...
8 min ago
- East Harlem debris cleared in search for...
14 min ago
- AccuWeather: Cold Sunday
47 min ago