I know what you are thinking... who the heck are the Dhaliwals? And what do they have in common with Michael Jackson and Scott Peterson? Well the Dhaliwal brothers, Amritpal and Kulbir, are the young men from San Jose who were attacked last year by the 243 pound tiger, Tatiana, who escaped from her enclosure at the San Francisco zoo. (Or San Fran-Sicko if you listen to Michael Savage). It seems the brothers have finally retained an attorney, Mark Geragos. The same attorney who swore that Jacko was a 'perfectly normal human being' and Scott Peterson was 'an innocent man'. Yeah, I can take him seriously.
The brothers and a friend were visiting the zoo last year when the tiger escaped, attacking the brothers and killing their friend. At the time, word on the street was that the group of young men taunted the tiger into attacking. Now the young men, ages 20 and 24, have filed a lawsuit in federal court against the city, zoo and others, claiming slander and civil rights violations. They are seeking unspecified damages. I can't imagine why folks would think these young men taunted the tiger... maybe there were witnesses? Or maybe its because teenage and young men don't routinely hang around at zoos? I mean really, when was the last time you saw a group of young men just out enjoying the wildlife....
"look look! a ring-tailed lemur! way cool..."
"oh next we just must go over to the reptile house!"
"yeah, but I can't wait to see that new prarie dog exhibit!"
"oh, come on! the tiger exhibit is the best- remember when that one ate Siegfried?"
"no dude, I thought he ate Roy..."
"omg who cares... lets check them out, maybe they've got the white ones too"
Kulbir Dhaliwal contends his federal civil rights were violated because he was deprived the use of his BMW M3, the car the three took to the zoo. Police impounded the car during their investigation. (Aww... bless his heart, they took his sweet ride).
The brothers also contend city officials along with Sam Singer, a crisis management spokesman for the zoo engaged in a smear campaign to suggest the young men were disreputable and had taunted the tiger before the escape. Disreputable? Amritpal Dhaliwal was sentenced in August to 16 months in state prison on a probation violation in Santa Clara County, and appeared this week in Alameda County Superior Court charged with shoplifting video game equipment from three Target stores. Sounds like an upstanding young man if you ask me....
I'm not judging though. Innocent until proven guilty and all that. Besides, the brothers contend they were permanently scarred by the attacks and the city and zoo were negligent in keeping Tatiana in an enclosure that had walls lower that what is recommended by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. They also say the zoo ignored workers' warnings about the wall height and that Kulbir Dhaliwal wasn't attacked until after an employee refused to allow him into the safety of a zoo cafe. (Hindsight is 20/20 isn't it? Maybe they should have consulted with Roy). In their defense, City Attorney Dennis Herrera's office has said the city is not liable and directed the brothers to file a claim with the San Francisco Zoological Society, the nonprofit that operates the zoo. Way to 'pass the buck'.
I'm hoping they show this trial on CourtTv. The details you hear at trial are never the ones printed in the paper. I wouldn't count my chickens (or tiger cubs) before they hatch if I were either side.