Man tosses giant snake into restaurant, leaves

Posted at 9:46 PM, Mar 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-24 02:33:16-04

LOS ANGELES - Los Angeles police say diners scattered when a man dropped a 13-foot python on the floor of a sushi restaurant.

LAPD Officer Drake Madison said the man, identified by ABC7 as Hiroshi Motohashi, argued with an employee and stormed out of Iroha Sushi of Tokyo in Studio City on Sunday evening.

Restaurant worker Sissi Dashdorf told ABC7, "He had a small snake in his pocket and he was showing it to kids and other customers and some of them got scared."

Madison said a short time later, the man returned with the giant snake, threw it into the dining room and walked out again.

Police responded, and Motohashi was arrested on suspicion of making criminal threats.

Nobody was hurt in the incident, and the python was taken by animal control officers.

Madison said it wasn't immediately clear where the man got the snake but that he likely was the owner.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Motohashi, 46, has a 2005 conviction for selling endangered animals and venomous lizards.

According to the newspaper, Motohashi previously owned a pet shop in Hillcrest known as A Glass Jungle.