By MATT BAUME
Updated 3:15 PM PST, Fri, Nov 26, 2010
Just-released transcripts reveal the interrogation techniques of police responding to a fatal tiger attack at the San Francisco Zoo.
The mauling happened on Christmas Day, 2007. There were no independent witnesses or security cameras, so it’s hard to say exactly what happened. What’s known is that the tiger, named Tatiana, somehow escaped her enclosure, surrounded by a moat, and attacked a trio of young men.
Kulbir and Amritpal “Paul” Dhaliwal survived. Carlos Sousa Jr. did not.
According to Amritpal, “I started running from him and he [expletive] just attacked me. I couldn’t get away from him. And then right after, like, somehow I got away and he got my boy Carlos.”
There’s been heavy speculation that the men provoked the attack by harassing the tiger and throwing stuff into the moat. The police interrogator learned that they’d been eating nachos, and repeatedly asked if they’d thrown them at the animal or in the moat.
According to transcripts of the interrogation, the brothers saw the tiger slide down into the moat, then leap over a wall that was supposed to be insurmountable. That wall has since been increased in height by several feet. The men’s lawyer has said that the zoo was negligent in not installing a higher wall in the first place.
Since the mauling, the brothers were involved in a drunk driving accident, one was arrested on suspicion of cocaine possession, and another was convicted of stealing electronics.