Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Against City Alleging Unlawful Rescue From Tiger

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Judge Sidney Stein of the Southern District of New York dismissed a lawsuit last week alleging that police broke the law when they entered a man's Manhattan apartment without a warrant. The judge ruled that the situation, which involved "a large tiger that had recently mauled a man roaming around inside an apartment" (the tiger was roaming, not the man) sufficiently constituted an "emergency" and so the police had acted reasonably in making the warrantless entry.

Antoine Yates suffered a deep bite to his right leg in October of 2003 when his 450-pound pet Siberian tiger attacked him. It appears that Yates' neighbors, who evidently had not previously been concerned about the 450-pound pet Siberian tiger living in the apartment next door, called police after hearing the sound of a man being attacked by a 450-pound pet Siberian tiger. Yates, who had gone to the hospital by the time police arrived, claimed he had been bitten by a pit bull, but the neighbors told police that they thought it was probably the tiger. Could have been the alligator (oh, he also had an alligator in there), but more likely the tiger.

Police decided that they should remove both animals for the safety of the public and of the animals themselves, and Judge Stein said they had acted "cautiously and reasonably" in doing so. Yates was arrested at the hospital after his leg was treated and was charged with harboring illegal pets. He later sued the police, and that was the case dismissed last week.

Yates told police that he bought the tiger from a woman in Minnesota, and that he had owned monkeys and scorpions before. Not sure why he thought the monkey-and-scorpion story was relevant. Does that qualify you to own a tiger and alligator? "Oh, sorry, sir. We didn't know you'd owned monkeys and scorpions before. We thought you were some kind of amateur. Have a nice day."