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A Green Iguana is pictured in its enclosure at Paris' Zoological Park in Paris on May 21, 2021. (Photo by Christophe ARCHAMBAULT / AFP) (Photo by CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP via Getty Images)

PJ Nilaja Patterson asked a Palm Beach County judge to dismiss his case based on the Florida ‘Stand Your Ground’ law. The strange thing is… is this man was apparently standing his ground against an iguana.

On September 2nd of 2020, he was arrested on animal cruelty charges after he dragged, kicked, and beat an Iguana. The creature was transported to Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control and had to be euthanized.

Patterson’s attorneys claim self-defense saying that he was trying to rescue the iguana from being stranded in the middle of the street. They said the creature became agitated by a growing crowd and bit his arm. Patterson needed 22 staples from the bite.

His attorneys said, “In this case, Patterson acted in a reasonable manner under all the circumstances because the wild iguana was first to engage with physical violence, during the encounter.”

Assistant State Attorney Alexandra Dorman on the other hand wrote about how the animal was in no immediate danger and didn’t need any help from Patterson and how his actions were unjustifiable.

Dr. Virginia Sayre of Animal Control cited the many injuries the iguana endured. This includes blood in its abdomen, a lacerated tongue, a lacerated liver, and a fractured pelvis. She described it as “Painful and terrifying”.

If convicted, Patterson could face up to five years.

Oh, and by the way, the judge denied his ‘Stand Your Ground’ defense.


Junior is the producer of the Stan and Haney show. He's a sucker for gelato and watching Hulu shows. When he's not working, he's probably exercising excessively, reading endless books, or taking long walks on the dog beach by himself. Because why not?