Wild Tale Unfolds After Suspicious Man Frightens Guests at CNY Animal Park
A wild tale is unfolding after a suspicious man was seen inside a bounce house at a central New York animal park.
On Tuesday afternoon, a man raised concerns at the Animal Wild Park in Chittenango. "He waited for our staff to turn their back and illegally snuck in without paying," explains park owner Jeff Taylor. "He proceeded to the bounce house area and began taking pictures. Despite signs clearly stating adults are not permitted, the man went inside the bounce house with kids in it."
Staff approached the man after parents expressed concerned. "He became defiant and told our staff it was none of their business," says Taylor. "He then lied, telling them he had permission from management."
Taylor says the man left the park in a rush. "He got in a vehicle and recklessly sped out of our parking lot, almost striking innocent pedestrians."
After the encounter, Taylor and his staff gathered information, called police and posted a picture of the man on Facebook in an effort to identify him. "Social media followers began messaging us with possible leads."
State Police Trooper Jack Keller tells CNY Central, after looking into the matter, "It appeared the man may have been there to take photographs because he’s considering doing a civil lawsuit."
The man's lawyer contacted Taylor at the park after the post went viral on Facebook, with more than 8,000 shares. "The lawyer identified the man and said he was at the park in regards to a lawsuit we knew nothing about and have no information or evidence of."
Safety is a top priority at the park for Taylor, who says he's now being harassed. "Our reputation is being tarnished for how we handled the situation. But if you sneak in our park, break our policies, frighten our guests and aggressively confront staff, you can expect to have us use all of our resources to investigate the situation."
Taylor plans to press charges and says he's started preparing for a lawsuit he knew nothing about. "If we knew of any unsafe conditions or concerns we would’ve worked with the individual to research and address the situation immediately."
The quick actions of park employees and local law enforcement uncovered why the man was inside the park. "This individual disrupted a great afternoon at our facility, instilling fear in many guests," says Taylor. "We are a family friendly park and safety is our number one concern."