Video Shows Elephant Charge Man, 2-Year-Old in Zoo Exhibit
Video from a witness at the scene shows the moment an elephant charged a man and his 2-year-old who'd climbed into the animal's exhibit.
Zoo officials say the man bypassed multiple barriers around 4:20pm on Friday, and “purposely and illegally trespassed” into the habitat.
In the video, the man can be seen holding the child while standing inside the exhibit before the elephant charges them, roaring along the way.
“You hear this woman yelling, ‘Jose, stop. Jose, stop,’” Lori Ortale said. “And he jumps the fence and then he goes through the elephant enclosure, and he’s got his little girl with him who, I don’t know, had to be under 2.”
“We told him to get out and he turned around and he saw it, thankfully, just in time,” witness Jake Ortale said. “He runs, throws his baby through the gate and it’s seconds from hitting him. He jumps through the gate, falls on the ground and then it roared. … The baby starts crying and people were just mad at this guy.”
Police publicly identified the man as 25-year-old Jose Manuel Navarrete, who was booked into the San Diego Central Jail downtown on charges of child cruelty.
No injuries to any people or animals were reported, and the girl went home with her mother.
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