Monday, October 8, 2012

Florida Man, 32, Dies Shortly After Winning Pet Store's Roach Eating Contest

A Florida man died Friday night after eating "dozens of roaches and worms" during a contest held by a pet/reptile store.

Edward Archbold collapsed after winning the contest at Ben Siegel Reptile Store. Archbold, who was competing for a free python.

Archbold wasn’t feeling well and started throwing up shortly after the contest ended, "He had consumed dozens of roaches and worms," a sheriff’s spokesman noted.

Archbold was pronounced dead after being transported to the hospital. An autopsy was conducted, and the Broward County medical examiner is awaiting test results to determined Archbold's cause of death.

Archbold (photo above) in a mug shot taken in 2004, following his arrest for disorderly conduct and indecent exposure, and yes, he was convicted.

The roach eating contest was part of the reptile store's October 5 "Midnight Madness" sale. Contestants had four minutes to eat the roaches, which can grow up to three inches long. "Oh yeah, any vomiting is an automatic DQ," the store warned in a Facebook post before to the competition.

In a Facebook update yesterday, the store stated that, "Although we just met Eddie the night of the sale, we all liked him right away. All of us here at Ben Siegel Reptiles are sad that we will not get to know Eddie better, for in the short time we knew him, he was very well liked by all."

Asked about the python won by Archbold, the store reported on its Facebook page that, "The snake is being held in his name and is full property of his estate."

The complete Facebook update:
We are all very sad at Ben Siegel reptiles about the passing of Eddie Barry (Archbold) We just met him the night of our sale but all liked him very much. He was outgoing and was fun and got the crowd very worked up and excited. We are sorry we will not get to know him better. We will keep everyone updated as we can. Please try to be respectful of Eddie's family as I am sure this is a very difficult time for them as well as everyone involved. Here is a release from our attorney.

My firm has been retained to represent Ben Siegel and his business as it relates to the tragic death of Eddie Archbold, apparently also known as Eddie Barry to some. This matter is still under investigation, so I have instructed Mr. Siegel and his staff to refrain from making any comments to the media or anyone else other than law enforcement. Some facts that have come out include the fact that all participants in the contest were entirely aware of what they were doing and that they signed thorough waivers accepting responsibility for their participation in this unique and unorthodox contest. The consumption of insects is widely accepted throughout the world, and the insects presented as part of the contest were taken from an inventory of insects that are safely and domestically raised in a controlled environment as food for reptiles. Once Mr. Archbold showed signs of distress, his companion represented that he had summoned emergency personnel and was going to immediately take him to the hospital. Moments later, Mr.Siegel made an independent call to 911 and Mr. Archbold was administered CPR. Mr. Siegel and his staff did all that anyone could to try and help Mr. Archbold, and they send out their deepest sympathy to the family. Any additional questions can be directed to my office. 

Luke Lirot, Esq.
Florida Bar No. 714836
2240,m Belleair Road., Suite 190
Clearwater, FL 33764