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Why did Iowa man arrested for DWI have a zebra in his truck?

  • Author: Amy Silverstein
  • Updated: September 29, 2016
  • Published May 23, 2012

An Iowa man was arrested for allegedly driving drunk. On an unrelated note, he also had a zebra his truck.

"We take them for car rides and they go and they get the mail with me. They are a big part of the family," the suspect's girlfriend told The Gazette.

Jerald Reiter, 55, was arrested in the parking lot of a bar as he drove away in his truck, KCRG reported. Police said he had a blood alcohol level of .14, above the state's legal limit of .08. The otherwise ordinary arrest attracted extra attention, however, because Reiter had brought his pet zebra and pet parrot along with him. The bar owner wouldn't let the animals in, so Reiter put them back in his truck, attracting the attention of other patrons. A Facebook picture of the zebra in the truck has been posted on The Gazette.

Reiter disputes the police report's account and says that he was about to let a friend take over and drive. He says he was in the process of switching seats with the designated driver when the police came, The Des Moines Register reported. The worst part of the whole thing for Reiter is that people think he's mistreated his exotic pets. Indeed, he has not been charged with any crime related to the animals.

"I said, 'Let's go for a ride. I ain't been away from the farm for almost two months because I've been planting corn and everything else,'" he told the Register. "So I opened the door, the zebra jumps in, the macaw loves to go for a ride, so we went for a ride."

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