Two New Yorkers sue after being injured in car accidents they claim were caused by loose tiger

Friday, December 3rd 2004, 7:56 pm
By: News On 6

NEW YORK (AP) _ Two people have filed suit against an animal trainer and a circus after a tiger escaped from its cage last year and caused a multi-car accident they claim left them with back injuries.

New York City police detective Maureen O'Malley and Quisorys Wanda Colon of Queens are each seeking $30 million in damages, according to the lawsuits.

The 7-year-old, 450-pound Bengal tiger, Apollo, escaped as it was being transferred from a small cage to a larger one in Queens last July. Apollo strolled past a church picnic and into a residential neighborhood, then crossed the Jackie Robinson Parkway, where the collisions occurred.

The tiger was later trapped by police and captured.

The Cole Bros. traveling circus was cited for the incident, but the trainer's attorney argued that the tiger wasn't legally responsible for the accidents because O'Malley hit a guardrail and Colon wrecked into another car.

``This was a multiple-car, allegedly one-tiger pileup,'' attorney Kathy Peisner said at a hearing Friday.