By: (The Don) Champion
Early Sunday morning, when Omaha Wild PF Tony Dimateo, 29, managed to get inside Henry Doorly Zoo before it had opened with the intention of petting a tiger, according to a police statement. When he allegedly reached into, a tiger cage — which zoo officials believe to have been Mai the three legged tiger— scratched Dimateo hand, causing severe injuries. A friend of the Omaha Wild PF took him to the hospital, where he was treated.
The Omaha Police Department was alerted to the incident when they received a call from the hospital about a disturbance with a patient who had a hand injury. Dimateo, who was cited for criminal trespassing, was allegedly aggressive toward hospital staff and, according to police, “showed signs of intoxication of alcohol and/or drugs.”
Dimateo was asked about the incident and he responded with, “No comment.” Omaha Wild GM Kelley Avery made a statement, “After our investigation we found out that Dimateo was over the legal limit for alcohol and had Acid and cocaine in his system. We have made our decision and even though being a hard choice the Omaha Wild choose to terminate Diamateo contract due to breaking team and the WBA substance abuse rule.”
Owner Jason Erwin said “We are deeply embarrassed by the action of one of the members of the Omaha Wild. I expected the Wild players to carry themselves better and to be role models for this community. Our organization will donate $1,000,000 to Henry Doorly Zoo to help medical expenses for the tiger.”
This news will make Dimateo a free agent immediately. His 3 point expertise could help one of these playoff teams down the stretch. Sometime dumb things happen to smart people, but this was a dumb person doing a dumb thing.