Calls of tiger on the loose in Gary prompt police search

2014-07-25T17:17:00Z 2014-08-15T08:58:05Z Calls of tiger on the loose in Gary prompt police searchLauri Harvey Keagle lauri.keagle@nwi.com, (219) 852-4311 nwitimes.com

GARY | Police searched the city's Glen Park neighborhood late Thursday night and early Friday after receiving vague reports of a tiger on the loose there.

Cpl. Gabrielle King said police received a call sometime before midnight reporting a tiger on the loose near West 38th Avenue and Broadway. 

All Glen Park patrol units were told to be on the lookout for a tiger. More calls started coming in reporting sightings, King said, all with vague locations.

"I'm pretty sure it was bogus," King said. "Everyone has a scanner, so once that first call came over, the 'I saw it here' and 'I saw it there' stuff started coming in."

Officers did not locate a tiger anywhere in the city, she said.

Marty Benson, spokesman for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, said no one in Gary or anywhere in Lake County has a state permit to own a tiger or any big cat.

Tanya Espinosa, spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, said there are no traveling exhibits with big cats licensed by the federal agency in the region.

King said the reports brought to mind the tigers once kept at a tattoo parlor in the neighborhood, which made news this week.

Roy Boy's The Badlands, 3844 Broadway, is a tattoo parlor once run by the late tattoo artist Roy Boy Cooper and most recently operated by Cooper's son, Diamond Cody Cooper.

Diamond Cody Cooper was killed in a motorcycle crash in Hobart on Monday. He was 19. 

The parlor was once well known for the tigers Roy Boy Cooper kept at the shop. Four tigers were removed by the USDA in May 2010 after being found underweight, lethargic and suffering from skin problems.

Roy Boy Cooper died three months later.

Cody Cooper re-opened his late father's tattoo parlor in July 2013 and at the time said he hoped to bring tigers back to the location.

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