A Tiger Walks Into A Bar…
LOCKPORT, IL – John Basile is facing criminal charges for bringing his tiger Shere Khan into Uncle Richie’s Bar in February.
“I don’t know if I had permission, the owner was not there, so I brought him in the back door, and he stayed for 15 minutes and then the music was too loud and too many people, too many distractions, so he started getting a little cranky so I took him out,” said Basile.
Basile likes to take Shere Khan for walks outside to play with his dog buddy Max. But when he brought the big kitty to the bar, people got a little upset.
Witness Ethan Autman who recorded the event with his cell phone camera said, “I was a little scared, like I was surprised to see somebody with a tiger, like just walking the streets like it was a normal thing, like a dog or something.”
Basile claims he brought Khan to the bar to promote an event he was taking part in where wildlife educators get people to see wild animals up close.
“We had two handlers there that are trained by me, they know what to do, so he was in complete control at all times. It’s not like we walked in there, turned him loose, and said go see everybody,” Basile said. He claims that at no time was anyone ever in danger.
“People were getting the assumption that I brought a 500 pound tiger into the bar, well he’s only 45 pounds,” said Basile.
Basile is facing three misdemeanors including reckless conduct and possession of a dangerous animal.