Tatiana the tiger’s memory is being sullied by legal action. She was killed in December after fatally mauling one teen boy and injuring two brothers who taunted her at the San Francisco zoo. The brothers seeking their fortune off the big cat’s misfortune are already pros in the legal system.
In March, Paul and Kulbir Dhaliwal filed a claim against the city, which owns the zoo and its animals, because 24-year-old Kulbir needed knee surgery after the attack and temporarily lost use of his BMW M3 when it got impounded during the investigation. They also allege a “smear campaign” by the zoo against them.
Their claim was dismissed in May, but they’ll probably file a lawsuit. As for anybody smearing them, they’re their own worst enemies.
The day the claim was filed, 19-year-old Paul was caught allegedly shoplifting from Target some electronic equipment and video games in his pants – and he’d done it at 3 stores. He’s now facing 5 felony counts and faces 3 years in state prison if convicted.
In February, Paul pleaded not guilty to a charge of marijuana possession. Apparently, getting himself chased by a tiger while high didn’t teach him anything.
In December 2007, Paul pleaded no contest to felony reckless driving and other charges from an incident the previous April where he led police on a 140 m.p.h. chase. He was already in Santa Clara County jail for violating his probation when Target filed charges a few weeks ago.
In September 2007, both brothers were arrested on misdemeanor charges after scuffling with San Jose police who nabbed the two after they were seen chasing two men down the street.
The family of Carlos Sousa, Jr., the 17-year-old deceased boy, also filed claim against the city because they think it knew the enclosure wouldn’t keep a pissed-off tiger away from their son and his unfortunate choice of companions.
Meanwhile, the zoo’s director just announced his resignation.
Thanks to the unfailingly poor judgment of the Dhaliwal brothers, a boy and a beautiful cat are dead, a man’s abandoned his career, and there’s no end to their legal hassles in sight. Their lawyer, Mark Geragos, must consider them his dream team.