Judge grants SFPD search warrant
to examine Tiger victims' phones, car
By Mike Aldux
January 16, 2008
The San Francisco Police Department yesterday was granted a
search warrant to examine the car and two cell phones owned by
the surviving victims of the Christmas Day mauling at San Francisco
Zoo, said Sgt. Neville Gittens.
A San Francisco judge ruled that police have the legal right
to search the property.
A police investigation will partly seek to determine whether
a 250-pound Siberian tiger was taunted when it escaped its grotto
on Christmas Day and fatally mauled Carlos Sousa Jr., 17, and
injured brothers Amritpal and Kulbir Dhaliwal, 19 and 23, of San
The Dhaliwals' attorney Mark Geragos has maintained the boys
did not taunt the tiger. City lawyers have said they expect the
attack victims to sue the city and zoo.
On Wednesday, a Santa Clara County Superior Court judge will
preside over a hearing to determine whether the San Francisco
city attorney's office will be allowed to inspect the Dhaliwals'
cell phones and car for possible evidence, allegedly pointing
to alcohol and/or drug use by the victims at the zoo, according
to the county's city attorney's office.
Though legal experts say evidence of taunting may help to reduce
damages awarded in a civil suit, public safety is the sole responsibility
of the San Francisco Zoo.
Luke Thomas contributed to this report.
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