Amriptal Dhaliwal sentenced for shoplifting

December 18, 2008 6:25:36 PM PST
A San Jose man who survived a tiger attack at the San Francisco Zoo on Christmas Day was sentenced today to five years' probation for shoplifting electronic equipment and video games from Target stores in Alameda County.

Amritpal Dhaliwal, 20, was charged with three counts of commercial burglary and two counts of grand theft for allegedly stealing Nintendo Wii controllers and other items from Target stores in San Leandro, Hayward and Livermore between March 24 and March 27.

But on Nov. 13 the Alameda County District Attorney's office dropped four of the charges in return for Dhaliwal's no-contest plea to one count of grand theft.

Although Dhaliwal won't serve any prison time for his Alameda County case, the case prompted a Santa Clara County judge to sentence him in August to 16 months in state prison for violating his probation in a felony reckless driving case in which he led police on a chase with speeds of up to 140 miles per hour through San Jose in April 2007.

Dhaliwal had been held at Alameda County's Santa Rita Jail in Dublin while he was awaiting sentencing but he was transferred to state prison today immediately after he was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Kevin Murphy.

Murphy ordered Dhaliwal to stay out of all Target stores in Alameda County.

In November, Dhaliwal and his brother, 24-year-old Kulbir Dhaliwal, filed a lawsuit against the city of San Francisco, the zoo and its spokesman in federal court, alleging that they suffered serious injuries, emotional harm and defamation in the Christmas Day incident in which a Siberian tiger named Tatiana escaped her grotto at the zoo and attacked them.

The tiger killed the Dhaliwals' friend, 17-year-old Carlos Sousa Jr. of San Jose, before police shot and killed the animal.

The San Leandro incident occurred on the same day that Dhaliwal and his brother filed a claim against the city of San Francisco.

The claim, which was a precursor to the lawsuit, was denied by the city in June.


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