By Joe Eskenazi
Amazing scenes were witnessed today at the San Francisco Zoo, when alleged aggressive panhandling from a homeless man induced an episode of “Roid Rage” in Barry the steroidal Siberian tiger. The cat escaped his pen and set the Major League Zoo record for maulings with 73, before being shot dead while putting the finishing touches on former Supervisor Ed Jew.
The rampage comes on the heels of a Chronicle investigation of illegal supplements provided to animals via the Bay Area Laboratory Zoo Co-Operative (BALZCO); Barry had been receiving packages of Tiger Growth Hormone since 2002, according to leaked grand jury testimony. Other zoo animals linked to BALZCO include Giambi the elephant, Romo the rhino, and Marion the cheetah.
Reginald Jackson, the homeless man who allegedly touched off the deadly rampage, was profiled last month in a front-page column by C.W. Nevius, “You Know What Grinds My Gears? Homeless People Ruining My Commute from Walnut Creek, That’s What.”
After Jackson told San Francisco police he would “rather die” than leave his Golden Gate park encampment and head to a homeless shelter, Nevius noted, “Well, if he would rather die, he had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”
Jackson is a former Oakland resident (see Chip Johnson’s column in the Bay Area section blaming Mayor Ron Dellums for Jackson’s behavior). After a prolonged legal struggle...
police won the right to search Jackson's Safeway cart; they discovered three bone-dry bottles of Winner’s Cup vodka and the best methamphetamine we’ve ever tried.
“They will try and dirty this kid up and say ‘Well, look, he had a little something to drink and a little meth so it’s his responsibility. He did it,’” shot back Michael Cardoza, Jackson’s attorney.
“That is not simply not right. How many people in this city have smoked a little meth and gone to the zoo? Does that mean it’s open season on you?”
Meanwhile, the Chronicle has obtained copies of the 911 call placed by former Supervisor Ed Jew, Barry’s 73rd and last mauling victim:
Ed Jew: Yes, this is Ed Jew. I’m in the Outer Sunset …
Dispatch: Bullshit! You are not! You’re in (redacted) Burlingame. I know who you are!
Ed Jew: No, seriously. I’m in my former district. This is a matter of life and death!
Dispatch: Hey, get this: Ed Jew says he’s in the Outer Sunset! (sounds of laughter in dispatch center).
Ed Jew: Can you fly a helicopter right here? Because I don't see no f-----g ambulance here.
Dispatch: Hey, get this: Ed Jew wants us to fly a f-----g helicopter into the Outer Sunset (sounds of more laughter in dispatch center).
Ed Jew: (unintelligible) Oh, now we (redacted) … call goes dead.
This was not the first instance of violence from Barry the steroidal tiger. Last year, he turned on his trainer –- however, that trainer, Greg Anderson, has refused to testify against Barry and is currently jailed on a contempt of court charge.
Before expiring, Barry said he regretted he never had the chance to have an affair with Gavin Newsom or Ruby Rippey-Tourk or pilot a cargo vessel into the Bay Bridge, which would have filled out this parody story nicely.
Art compilation | Joe Eskenazi
Painting of tiger | Willem de Beer
Photo of Ed Jew | David Paul Morris, San Francisco Chronicle