Good Samaritan bit trying to leash roaming iguana Mr. JinglesBy JASON SCHREIBER
Union Leader Correspondent
August 14. 2017 4:16PM
RYE - An iguana that escaped through a window screen at its home and later bit a bicyclist when he tried to leash the wandering reptile was reunited with its owner Monday afternoon.
The iguana, named Mr. Jingles, was taken into police custody Monday morning and held in a pet carrier until owner Brenda Schultz was located and they were reunited a short time later at the police station.
Schultz, who lives on Sagamore Road, said she believes Mr. Jingles climbed through a screen sometime late Sunday.
“I didn’t even realize he was gone until this morning. I looked all over and I didn’t see him, but I thought I would go out today and see him basking in the sun. He loves to sit in the sun and sit on the rock,” she said.
Schultz, who’s owned Mr. Jingles for several years, said she wasn’t worried about him because she assumed he would show up soon.
“I didn’t think he would actually go anywhere,” she said of Mr. Jingles, who’s about 10 years old and gets along pretty well with his two feline friends at home.
Schultz had no idea the reckless reptile had fled and was roaming around Sagamore Road, where he caught the attention of Hampton Police Chief Rich Sawyer while he was driving to a meeting.
Sawyer immediately reported the unusual discovery.
“The chief was able to distinguish between a squirrel and an iguana,” Walsh joked.
This was a first for Walsh, who’s been in law enforcement for 30 years.
“I’ve had a lot of sea creature calls, but this was my first iguana call,” he said.
While police were en route to find the stray iguana, Walsh said a man came along on a bicycle and attempted to put a leash on the reptile to remove it from the road. That’s when Mr. Jingles struck back and bit two of his fingers.
“Obviously he wanted to get it out of the road so it wouldn’t get hurt,” he said.
Walsh said the man was treated and released after refusing further medical treatment at the hospital.
Police were able to identify Schultz as the owner with help from social media.
Schultz said she’s glad to know that people tried to help keep Mr. Jingles safe and was relieved to have him back.
“I guess we won’t be near that window with the hole in the screen,” she said.