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Man arrested after breaking into Florida theme park, hopping into alligator enclosure and filming video for social media, authorities say

The Cheetah Hunt roller coaster is seen here at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay on June 10, 2020, in Tampa, Florida. Chris O'Meara/AP The Cheetah Hunt roller coaster is seen here at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay on June 10, 2020, in Tampa, Florida. Chris O'Meara/AP

A man is accused of breaking into a Florida theme park, jumping into an alligator enclosure and filming a video for social media – a dangerous stunt that authorities say led to his arrest.

Police in Tampa Bay say Jacob Pursifull, 20, hopped a fence to enter Busch Gardens theme park illegally on June 1. He and two others went to the park’s alligator enclosure, which is outfitted with two layers of metal fencing, footage of the incident shows.

Authorities say Pursifull entered the enclosure while one of the people with him recorded him, according to a news release from the Tampa Police Department.

Onlookers can be seen in a video posted to social media showing Pursifull inside the enclosure, with some shouting at him to get out and that it was dangerous to get that close to the reptiles. Footage of the incident went viral online.

"Another wild Karen. Crikey!" Pursifull can be heard saying in a clip cited by CNN affiliate WBBH.

It is unclear whether Pursifull has legal representation.

Authorities say he posted a video of the incident to social media. No video of the incident currently appears on social media accounts appearing to belong to Pursifull.

Tampa police say leads from social media helped investigators identify and arrest Pursifull.

He was taken into custody Monday on charges of theft of services, trespassing and burglary of an occupied structure, according to the release from police and the Hillsborough County jail’s website.

Pursifull was released on US$8,500 bond Tuesday, booking information showed.

It is unclear whether the two other people who police say snuck into the theme park with Pursifull will face charges. The Tampa Police Department did not immediately respond to an inquiry from CNN. Top Stories


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