It's thought that the man's screams might have been muffled by the loud sound of the truck's machinery.
"I would best describe it as an innocent child victim having a chance encounter with a very violent criminal," Palm Beach Gardens Chief Clinton Shannon said.
"Part of what they used against him was his own argument: 'I'm not Thomas Castleberry. I didn't commit these crimes....This isn't me,'" Vedanta Griffith said.
The man, who Local 10 identified as Derek Edward Peivandi, faces criminal charges that include aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer.
Police are reminding people it is dangerous to handle venomous animals.
"The immediate object of defendant's crime was to purchase basic human necessities, including food and toothpaste," a decision from the New York Supreme Court's Appellate Division states.
The unprovoked attack, which was caught on a surveillance camera, occurred just before 10:10 a.m. Wednesday.
Jeremy Dufresne had a bucket of water poured over him by a Dunkin' Donuts employee as he rested in the store. Another employee laughed and filmed.
GoFundMe said it is also "looking into the claims of misuse" regarding the campaign.
A happy ending for homeless Phil.
"Google reached out to me," David Casarez, 26, said. "So many other companies. Pandora. A bunch of startups."
"Officer Tony Carlson's actions embodied Tallahassee Police Department's philosophy of community oriented policing," said Chief Michael DeLeo.
"You know what you're doing is wrong. You know that already. Deep inside you, you know that."