Edward Archbold, roach-eating contest video: Video shows final moments before Florida man's death

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- A West Palm Beach man is dead after taking part in a cockroach eating contest Friday.

Broward County Sheriff's Office deputies say Edward Archbold, 32, ate dozens of cockroaches at Ben Siegel Reptiles in Deerfield Beach.

Video of Archbold participating in the roach-eating contest was posted on YouTube Monday night.

Pharaoh Gayles was one of the estimated 20-30 people who took part in the contest on Friday night.

"Some of the snakes were pretty expensive. I thought if I could eat the bugs to get one, it'd be a good idea," said Gayles.

Archbold was a few seats down during the contest.

"We all just stood behind the tanks, they said go, and we all just started eating," said Gayles. "He did a really good job."

Police say at around 11:30 p.m. Friday, they got a call from the store owner because Archbold collapsed.

He ate dozens of cockroaches in his effort to win an $850 snake.

"After he was done he went to go throw up in the bathroom and that was it," said Gayles.

Archbold died at the hospital.

People like Angela Waldman, a customer at the shop on Monday, can't understand.

"I thought oh wow, who would do something like that? People like to do these crazy things all the time, like Fear Factor, " said Waldman.

"I don't see anything wrong with bug-eating. It just happened to be a freak accident," said Gayles.

Ben Siegel reptiles released the following statement:

"(There were) approximately 20-30 (participants) who were all fine... All... were entirely aware of what they were doing and signed waivers accepting responsibility for participation in this unique and unorthodox contest. The consumption of insects is widely accepted throughout the world, and the insects were... safely and domestically raised in a controlled environment."

Siegel told the Associated Press that he feels "terribly awful," and Archbold did not appear to be sick before the contest.

"He looked like he just wanted to show off and was very nice," Siegel said, adding that Archbold was "the life of the party."

The medical examiner has not ruled a cause of death yet.

"Unless the roaches were contaminated with some bacteria or other pathogens, I don't think that cockroaches would be unsafe to eat," Michael Adams, professor of entomology at the University of California at Riverside, told the Associated Press. Adams added that he has never heard of someone dying after consuming roaches. "Some people do have allergies to roaches," he said, "but there are no toxins in roaches or related insects."

The store owner has hired a lawyer. Whether the store will face charges, is unknown at this time.

An investigation is underway.

Print this article Back to Top

Comments

Read More

Jonathan Warrenfelt, Joshua Zeaya: Facial tattoo, bungled stickup leads cops to robbery suspects Jonathan Warrenfelt, Joshua Zeaya: Facial tattoo, bungled stickup leads cops to robbery suspects

The facial tattoo "Misunderstood" stood out to victims of a robbery at gunpoint in Dania Beach.

Ashley Taylor Wright threw her baby at a deputy at Pensacola Dillards, Okaloosa County police say Ashley Taylor Wright threw her baby at a deputy at Pensacola Dillards, Okaloosa County police say

A Pensacola woman, Ashley Taylor Wright, has been arrested after authorities say they tried arrest her for shoplifting and she threw the baby at a deputy as she tried to escape.

Stephen Amaral robbed while naked swimming woman distracts him Stephen Amaral robbed while naked swimming woman distracts him

A Tennessee man found this out the hard way when a woman dipped in his pool, naked, as her husband robbed his home.

Giant purple chicken stolen in Putnam County, three men charged with grand theft Giant purple chicken stolen in Putnam County, three men charged with grand theft

Putnam County investigators say it was "fowl" play when three young men stole a giant chicken.

Invisible man in Fort Pierce prefers his stolen cigarettes mentholated Invisible man in Fort Pierce prefers his stolen cigarettes mentholated

A man in Fort Pierce said he used his "powers of invisibility" to abscond with a carton of menthol cigarettes, but his conscience appears to have gotten the best of him.

David John Sirko: Suspected burglar left love notes, photos of underwear on head, deputies say David John Sirko: Suspected burglar left love notes, photos of underwear on head, deputies say

A Golden Gate Estates, Florida man was arrested Monday after Collier County sheriff's deputies say he broke into a woman's house, left her love notes and took photos of himself with her underwear on his head.

Randy Zipperer mac and cheese dispute: Florida man accused of stabbing brother after food disapears Randy Zipperer mac and cheese dispute: Florida man accused of stabbing brother after food disapears

Authorities say two Florida brothers got into a tussle over missing macaroni and cheese that ended with one stabbing the other in the stomach.

Walmart wedding: Wayne and Susan Brandenburg get married at Shallotte, North Carolina store Walmart wedding: Wayne and Susan Brandenburg get married at Shallotte, North Carolina store

For years, Wayne Brandenburg shopped at his local Wal-Mart three or four times a week. He never thought he'd pick up a wife, or marry her, there. But that's exactly what happened.

Man jumps on manatees video: YouTube, Facebook video posting investigated by wildlife officials Man jumps on manatees video: YouTube, Facebook video posting investigated by wildlife officials

Video of a man jumping on two manatees prompts legal investigation.

Filomena Tobias flips off Joakim Noah, Chicago Bulls player, paper reports Filomena Tobias flips off Joakim Noah, Chicago Bulls player, paper reports

The woman has been identified as Filomena Tobias, widow of CNBC commentator Seth Tobias, of Jupiter.