A Santa Clara County judge today promised to decide by Friday the fate of the car and cell phones belonging to Amritpal and Kulbir Dhaliwal, the brothers wounded in the Christmas Day tiger mauling at San Francisco Zoo that killed their friend Carlos Sousa Jr.
However, Superior Court Judge Socrates Manoukian's decision could be moot after reports surfaced that the San Francisco Police Department has obtained a search warrant allowing them to examine the car and hones.
In preparation for a possible civil suit in connection with the mauling, officials for the city and county of San Francisco and the San Francisco Zoo want to examine the car and phones to glean any information about the attack by the Siberian tiger Tatiana.
“San Francisco is just concerned about the truth. We know something happened out there at the zoo that motivated this tiger,'' Deputy City Attorney Sean Connolly said.
The brothers' attorney, Shepard Kopp, said that San Francisco and the zoo have no right to examine the car and phones because the Dhaliwals were victims in the incident and did nothing wrong.
“There's nothing that's going to show that those guys provoked or taunted the tiger in any way,'' Kopp said.
Manoukian questioned the attorneys for San Francisco and the zoo about the basis for their belief that the car and phones contain any useful information about the attack.
“There's no declaration anywhere saying the respondents or Mr. Sousa were seen taking pictures or anything,'' Manoukian said.
Even without the search warrant, it is unlikely that the car and phones will be returned to the Dhaliwals anytime soon. Manoukian said he would not rule on the matter before Friday and he agreed to a request by the attorneys for San Francisco and the zoo not to release the car and phones until they had a chance to file an appeal if he rules against them.
— Bay CIty News