Headlines nicknamed him “Tarzan” last summer.
Zookeepers at the Santa Ana Zoo in California found John Williams Rodenborn, shirtless and covered in mud, climbing into trees at the zoo and trying to swing his way into exhibits.
Calling 911, zoo director Kent Yamaguchi told police, “We have a gentleman who is, appears to be under the influence of something and is climbing in our trees and jumping into animal exhibits.
“He’s shouting at people, um, that he’s Tarzan.”
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Police who arrested him said he had meth with him and suspected he was under the influence when he climbed his way into tabloid infamy. They described him as a transient.
“Me, Tarzan. You, under arrest,” wrote the New York Daily News.
On Tuesday, after spending a year in a state mental hospital, Rodenborn, 38, pleaded guilty to robbery and burglary charges associated with other criminal activity and was immediately sentenced to four years in prison, the Orange County Register reports.
“He’s not Tarzan anymore,” his attorney, Jim Sweeney, told the Register. “He’s not anywhere near the erratic behavior as before.”
In November, Rodenborn was found mentally unfit to assist in his defense and was sent to the state hospital in San Bernadino County until he could return to court to face charges.
“Whatever it was they did, it worked. It really did,” Sweeney told the Register. “He’s been kind of a model prisoner since.”
Two days after the zoo incident in August 2015 Rodenborn was charged with stealing a cell phone at a Costa Mesa art gallery and for robbing a gas station at gunpoint.
On Tuesday he pleaded guilty to several charges related to those incidents, including second-degree robbery and making criminal threats.
Misdemeanor charges related to his escapade at the zoo were dismissed.