Judge orders restaurant iguana-swinger not to brag about his crime [Updated]

Illustration for article titled Judge orders restaurant iguana-swinger not to brag about his crime [Updated]
Photo: Ralf Geithe (iStock)

Update, August 15, 2019: The saga continues. An Ohio judge has sentenced the 49-year-old man who swung and threw an iguana inside a Perkins restaurant to two years probation. The Associated Press reports the man must also not brag about his crime, nor can he live in a house with animals for the next five years.

Update, May 6, 2019: The iguana weaponized at an Ohio restaurant is being held in protective custody at the Lake County Humane Society, the Associated Press reports. The iguana, Copper, has a few medical conditions that the humane society would like to treat, but because it is not the iguana’s owner, it can’t do so until a judge approves the treatments. The agency now seeks tax-deductible donations to offset the cost of the $1,600 surgery.

Original story, April 17, 2019: Be forewarned: While this is a story about some wild shit going down before noon at a Perkins, this is foremost a tragic one, albeit with a relatively happy ending, about an Ohio iguana named Copper.


At least that’s his given name, according to the Painesville, Ohio police department, which used its Facebook page to tell the story of the iguana’s terrifying Tuesday morning, in which his now-detained former owner decided to brandish him as a weapon inside one of the venerable family dining’s 354 locations in the United States. We would like to think that it is the only one where something like this has ever happened.

And yes, it was just as bad as it sounds:

A 49 year old male had removed an iguana from his shirt and swung it around his head by its tail and then threw the iguana at the store manager. The officers later located the male in the 900 block of Mentor Avenue where he resisted arrest.

The iguana, who did not ask for any of this at any point, was mercifully taken away from the man, who was charged with animal cruelty alongside disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. As of this publication, the local Humane Society is tending to the iguana, and several commenters on the initial post have already offered to give him a home. Happy trails, Copper.


Meanwhile, everybody working at the Painesville Perkins that day went on to work for about 8-10 more hours, because working in a restaurant is one of the most character-building jobs anybody can do, anywhere. We’ll come back on Mondays for the free pie.

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A few things:

  1. I feel very bad for the iguana naturally, but the visual image the description of the incident made was too absurd not to laugh my ass off at.
  2. Iguanas are mean fuckers any way. I’ve been bit by them and they can whip the hell out of you with their tails. Iguanas need no further weaponization than what nature already gave them.
  3. Ohio Man coming for Florida Man’s crown.
  4. This reminds me of that story about that dude in Florida that went around during a cold snap in south Florida collecting cold-stunned wild iguanas, and after he had a sizeable haul was driving down the road with the heater in his car blazing. Which then warmed and revived all of the iguanas in the car. And the man was basically attacked by a swarm of pissed off iguanas while driving down the road.