Owner of Delray Beach Reptile Shop Arrested for Slapping Employees With Bearded Dragon

A reptile store owner was arrested for slapping his employees with a bearded dragon lizard.

And you hate your boss when he gives you gruff about stuff.

According to a Broward Sheriff's Office arrest report, Benjamin Siegel, 40, owner of Ben Siegel Reptiles Inc. in Delray Beach, was arrested on battery and cruelty to animal charges on Friday after he allegedly hit some of his employees with a live lizard multiple times.

The report says the incident was caught on a store surveillance camera.

See also: Edward Archbold Dies After Eating Dozens of Roaches and Worms in Deerfield Reptile Shop

The victims told police that Siegel placed the lizard in his mouth and began hitting the employees with it. He also threw Gatorade on the employees.

According to the report, Siegel threw the large lizard into the air and swung it around multiple times.

"The defendant did unnecessarily torment the animal, handling the animal in a cruel and/or inhumane manner and intentionally committed an act to the animal which results in excessive and repeated infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering to the animal," the report says.

Siegel was charged with one count of cruelty to animals and two counts of battery. He appeared in bond court on Monday where he was held on $4,500 bond.

A clerk at the store told New Times they would not comment on the incident.

This isn't the first time Siegel's reptile store has been in the news for something strange or unfortunate.

In 2012, Siegel Reptiles, which is located at 3314 W. Hillsboro Blvd. in Deerfield Beach, hosted a roach-eating contest that ended up killing contestant Edward Archbold after he choked on the dozens of roaches and worms during the contest.

According to the BSO at the time, Archbold began to "regurgitate" the roaches and bugs soon after winning the contest. He then collapsed in front of the store and was pronounced dead at Broward Health North. Four weeks later, the Broward Medical Examiner reported that Archbold had died of "asphyxia due to choking and aspiration of gastric contents."

The contest held by Siegel's Reptiles was for a free python.

Siegel Arrest by Chris Joseph

Send your story tips to the author, Chris Joseph. Follow Chris Joseph on Twitter

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph