New England Aquarium: Man charged for swimming in shark tank ‘wins idiot prize’

The New England Aquarium recently unveiled a new Giant Ocean Tank after it underwent a $17 million renovation. PHOTO BY NICOLAUS CZARNECKI/METRO
The New England Aquarium recently unveiled a new Giant Ocean Tank after it underwent a $17 million renovation.
PHOTO BY NICOLAUS CZARNECKI/METRO

The New England Aquarium has responded to the arrest of a Quincy man who jumped into a 200,000-gallon centerpiece tank, saying it was the first time in the aquarium’s 40-year history that someone carried out such a stunt and giving the suspect the title of “grand idiot.”

Stephen Pellegrine, 51, was arrested Thursday evening after staff say he snuck into the aquarium without paying then jumped into the four-story salt water tank.

“This is the first time in 40 years and 50 million visitors that we’ve had such an incident like this happen. There is no underestimating someone who is intoxicated; whatever they want to do they will do,” ” Aquarium Spokesman Tony LaCasse told Metro in a voicemail Monday.

“We are just thankful he was not injured, that no staff were injured who helped get him out and that no animals were injured. But he wins the prize for grand idiot of the five decades of the New England Aquarium.”

Aquarium staff on Thursday demanded that Pellegrine get out of the water, but he allegedly swam around for “several minutes” before complying. Staff told Fox 25 that Pellegrine appeared intoxicated during the incident.

“Fortunately the sharks had already been fed,” Suffolk District Attorney Spokesman Jake Wark said in an email Sunday.

Pellegrine had a not-guilty plea entered on his behalf Friday in Boston Municipal Court to charges of trespassing and disorderly conduct, Wark said.

He was held on $1,500 cash bail and ordered to undergo a drug and alcohol evaluation and to stay away from the aquarium. He is due back in court on July 23.

None of the animals in the tank were harmed.

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.