Man Drops 13-Foot Pet Python Inside SoCal Sushi Restaurant - NBC 10 Philadelphia

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Man Drops 13-Foot Pet Python Inside SoCal Sushi Restaurant

After employees told him to take his small snake outside, 46-year-old Hiroshi Motohashi allegedly returned to Iroha Sushi of Tokyo with a 13-foot python



    Man Once Sentenced for Exotic Animals Felonies Arrested for Sushi Snake Incident

    A man accused of leaving a large python in a Studio City sushi joint had a criminal past when it comes to exotic animals. Jane Yamamoto reports for the NBC4 News at 11 on Tuesday, March 22, 2016. (Published Wednesday, March 23, 2016)

    Diners got an unexpected reptilian surprise at a Studio City sushi restaurant Sunday night when a man dropped a 13-foot python on the dining room floor.

    Hiroshi Motohashi, 46, brought two small snakes to Iroha Sushi of Tokyo and began to show them off, LAPD Lt. Jim Gavin told the Los Angeles Times. When customers complained, employees asked him to take the reptiles outside. Motohashi left the restaurant and returned with an even bigger snake, authorities said.

    Motohashi allegedly said, "[Expletive], you guys," before he dropped the python in the middle of the restaurant floor and walked out, Gavin said, according to The Times.

    When Motohashi refused to take the reptile outside, employees called police. 

    A customer capture cellphone  video of responding officers attempting to wrangle the python from behind a computer where it had gotten stuck. By 7:20 p.m., police had arrested Motohashi on suspicion of making criminal threats, a felony.

    Motohashi's bail is set at $50,000, and an arraignment date has not been scheduled, officials said.

    It was not immediately clear if Motohashi had a lawyer.

    Animal control officials took the python away.

    WATCH: Diner's video of officers trying to wrangle the snake.

    It was later revealed Motohashi, originally from San Diego, was once sentenced to 15 months in jail for unlawfully selling endangered and protected species that were transported from LA to Las Vegas, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

    He pleaded guilty to the felony charges in 2004 and was ordered to pay a $3,000 fine.

    In September of 1997, Motohashi sold "gila monsters," or Mexican venomous lizards, as well as San Esteban Island chuckwallas, and yellow-headed sideneck turtles, to an undercover agent, the department said.

    Motohashi's case was a part of a large investigation that spanned years in Reno, Nevada.