GROSSE TETE, La. (WAFB) - A married couple is being charged after a bizarre incident in Grosse Tete involving a deaf dog and a camel’s genitalia being bitten.
It was initially believed that the woman bit the camel in its private area while trying to rescue her dog, but now, the woman’s story isn’t quite adding up. New surveillance video and a police report are shedding some light on the situation.
Deputies with the Iberville Parish Sheriff’s Office responded to the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete on Wednesday, Sept. 18, on a medical call. The responding deputy spoke with Edmond, 73, and Gloria, 68, Lancaster. Edmond claimed he and his wife were visiting the camel with their small dog when the camel reached under a barbed wire fence and snatched the dog, bit him, and tossed him, forcing his wife to crawl under the fence to rescue the dog. Edmond claims once Gloria was in the camel’s pen, the camel bit his wife and their dog, then sat on his wife as he tried to push the camel off her.
Edmond goes on to say Gloria bit the camel’s genitalia in a desperate attempt to get the camel off her, and that the camel also bit his left elbow. He claims Gloria suffered abdominal injuries, as well as injuries to her neck, shoulder, right arm, and head as a result of the camel sitting on her. In the report, the couple claims the camel was the aggressor and that they did nothing wrong.
However, witness statements collected by the sheriff’s office contradict several points in the couple’s story. Both witnesses reported to deputies Edmond told them the deaf dog ran into the pen and couldn’t hear the couple calling for it. Edmond further reportedly told witnesses the camel was trying to stomp on the dog, so he climbed under the fence to retrieve the dog and his wife. The witnesses say Edmond’s elbow was injured while he was climbing under the fence, and that he was not in fact bitten by the camel.
Witnesses also reported Edmond told them he and his wife had been throwing dog treats into the camel’s pen when the dog ran under the fence. This directly contradicts the couple’s claim that the dog was snatched by the camel.
One witness reported to deputies that Gloria claimed her ribs and collar bone were broken after being sat on by the camel, but that afterwards she asked for a cigarette and seemed to smoke it with no problem.
Another witness reported to deputies that Gloria told her the camel ripped some fur off the dog’s back, but that the fur was actually missing prior to the dog running under the fence.
According to the report from the sheriff’s office, a deputy found several dog bone treats inside the camel’s pen, which was consistent with witness statements. Deputies also watched surveillance footage from the truck stop and saw the Lancasters approach the camel and toss dog treats into the pen. The unleashed dog can then be seen running into the pen, then the Lancasters follow.
The report states that in the video, Edmond can be seen pushing the camel in an attempt to shew it away as the deaf dog roams around underfoot. At some point during the encounter, the camel sits on Gloria and she bites him in the testicles in an attempt to get away, the report states.
An employee eventually comes outside and tries to help get the camel away from Gloria. She and the dog are then able to get out of the pen by climbing under the fence again.
The sheriff’s office report notes there is a sign posted on a pole at the camel’s pen advising visitors to not cross the restricted fence line.
Deputies later contacted the couple at a local hospital and determined Edmond’s elbow injury was consistent with crawling under the fence, indicating he was not actually bitten by the camel.
The Lancasters were both issued misdemeanor summons for criminal trespassing and not having their dog on a leash.
Pamela Bossier, a manager at the Tiger Truck Stop, says the couple broke into the enclosure, causing the camel to panic.
“It was just crazy,” Bossier told the Washington Post on Monday. “To the point of why would somebody do that?”
The manager says the camel is friendly and plays with goats all the time. She claims he was playing around with the dog.
The camel has been in the enclosure since summer of 2018, replacing truck stop’s previous attraction, Tony the Tiger. The tiger was put down in October of 2017 because of kidney failure and other health issues. The Tiger Truck Stop has stirred some controversy in the past after an animal rights group filed a petition to free Tony.