Police arrest man who jumped into alligator enclosure at Busch Gardens

TAMPA, Fla. — A man who jumped into an alligator enclosure while visiting Busch Gardens in west-central Florida last week has been arrested.

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Jacob Ryan Pursifull, 20, of Prairieville, Louisiana, was arrested Monday and charged with burglary, first-degree petit theft and trespassing, according to Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office online booking records.

According to a news release from the Tampa Police Department, Pursifull and two other people entered the Tampa theme park on June 1 and went to the alligator habitat.

Police said that Pursifull entered the enclosure, scaling two fences, while one of his companions recorded it, WTVT reported. The video was posted to several media sites, which police said helped them identify and locate the suspect.

Nick Reid, was one of the park visitors who captured the incident on video, according to WFLA-TV.

“He caused a huge commotion and got within 5 feet of an alligator,” Reid told the television station.

“You’ve got to get back out,” a man in a green shirt told the enclosure intruder, who suddenly adopted a mock Steve Irwin accent, WTVT reported.

“I’m not the wild Karen. Crikey,” Pursifull calls out.

According to the Tampa Police Department, a probable cause warrant was issued for Pursifull’s arrest.

Pursifull posted $8,500 bail on Tuesday and was released, online jail records show.

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