Mauling survivors face prior misdemeanor charges

Two brothers mauled by a Siberian tiger at the San Francisco Zoo on Christmas Day face public-drunkenness and evading arrest charges today in San Jose, but since the claims are misdemeanors, they are not required to show up in court.

Kulbir Dhaliwal, 23, and his brother Paul, 19, were arrested in September near Pipe Dream Court, where they live. They are charged with public drunkenness and resisting arrest.

The brothers most recently made headlines as survivors of a Dec. 25 tiger mauling that killed their 17-year-old friend, Carlos Sousa Jr.

According to Santa Clara District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Amy Cornell, the charges aren’t serious enough to force the brothers to appear in person. Instead, an attorney could appear for the Dhaliwal brothers.

Also this week, Sousa’s father has hired high-powered attorney, Michael Cardoza, a San Francisco native, to represent the family.

Cardoza told The Examiner on Monday that any claim against the zoo or The City won’t come out until his investigators have had a chance to work with police and examine the evidence.

“I can’t think of any greater hurt than losing a child,” Cardoza said. “I think they’re hoping to wake up from a horrible dream, but that’s not going to happen.”

Cardoza, a graduate of St. Ignatius high school and the University of San Francisco, said he’s disappointed in the way that The City in which he was born and raised in handled the incident. He said the Dhaliwals not only want Carlos Sousa Jr. to be remembered, but they also want to ensure nobody’s hurt at the zoo again.

The Dhaliwal family has also hired a well-known lawyer, Mark Geragos, who hasrepeatedly denied charges that the brothers provoked the tiger to leap from her enclosure Dec. 25.

bbegin@examiner.com  

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