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Police: Deerfield Reptile Store Owner Hits People With Pet Dragon

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DEERFIELD BEACH (CBSMiami) – Putting a bearded dragon in your mouth will give you neither a beard nor the ability to breathe fire. So what was the owner of a reptile store in Deerfield Beach thinking when he reportedly did just that?

Benjamin Siegel, owner of Ben Siegel Reptiles Inc. located at 3314 West Hillsboro Blvd., is accused of abusing a critter in multiple ways on January 2nd.

According to the arrest form, 40-year-old Siegel first put the bearded dragon in his mouth. Witnesses said Siegel proceeded to toss the reptile up into the air and swing it around several times. Broward Sheriff's Office deputies said Siegel also hit people inside the store with the pet, before squirting them with Gatorade.

"The way the world is today, i'm not surprised at all," said Eduardo Torres. "People just do crazy stuff."

Siegel appeared in bond court on Monday where he was held on $4,500 bond.

He is facing two charges of touch or strike battery and one count of causing cruel death, pain and suffering to an animal.

Authorities did not say if the animal died.

40-year-old Siegel has made headlines before. In 2012, a 32-year-old man died after a roach eating contesting at his store. The winner was to receive an expensive python, but instead Edward Archbold died.

The 40-year-old has three other battery charges since October and also a possession of cocaine charge from Christmas Day, according to the Broward Clerk of Courts. Siegel was arrested right at the store on Friday.


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