TikToker Arrested After Allegedly Breaking Into Busch Gardens, Entering Alligator Pit

Police tracked down Jacob Pursifull with the help of a social media video that appears to show him jumping into the park’s gator enclosure in Florida.
Alligators are seen at Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida.
Alligators are seen at Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida.
Buyenlarge via Getty Images

A 20-year-old man is facing criminal charges after police said he was filmed breaking into Florida’s Busch Gardens theme park and entering an alligator exhibit, in an apparent attempt to gain online notoriety.

Jacob Pursifull was arrested Monday on burglary, theft and trespass charges following the brazen stunt in Tampa on June 1, according to a Tuesday statement from city police.

A video uploaded to Pursifull’s TikTok account appears to show the Louisiana man scaling a wall to enter the park. He then appears to take ice cream snacks from behind a counter without paying and climb two fences to enter the gator enclosure.


full context of the day, Jacob Pursifull, decided to break into the Busch Gardens Alligator pit. details and article of outcome will be shown towards the end of the video. #buschgardens #alligator #isthecloutworthit? #thinkaboutit #heriskedhislife

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“Crikey, look how big that bugger is,” he says at one point, seemingly imitating the late Australian zookeeper Steve Irwin while standing just feet away from the reptiles’ water habitat.

Pursifull accuses horrified onlookers of being “Karens” when asked to get out, and he appears to gleefully run and evade security as he exits the park.

Police said they used the social media video to track down Pursifull.

“Following investigative leads based on the linked social media posts, investigators were able to positively identify and locate Pursifull,” said Tampa police.

He was arrested on suspicion of burglary of an occupied structure, which is a second-degree felony, and misdemeanor charges of trespassing and first-degree petit theft.

HuffPost reached out to Pursifull on Thursday but did not immediately receive a response.

The aspiring social media influencer has created a number of online videos that show him carrying out crude pranks and attempting to get a rise out of strangers. One video, posted to YouTube a day before the Busch Gardens incident, shows him pestering people on the streets of Tampa’s Ybor City neighborhood and repeatedly asking a man for a blowjob. Footage from his TikTok account shows him screaming “help” in a mall while walking past shoppers.

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