Gator evicted from duck pond via citizens arrest
By BY SARA SNEATH - SSNEATH@VICAD.COM
June 25, 2014 at 1:25 a.m.
Updated June 26, 2014 at 1:26 a.m.
Arianna Cherry, 23, of Victoria, was walking through Riverside Park on Tuesday evening when she saw a man fishing in the duck pond.
But the toothy critter on the end of the man's fishing line was no fish. He'd caught a 3-foot-long alligator.
"That fishing pole looked like it was going to break; it was bending so bad. He was really struggling with that fishing pole," Cherry said.
An alligator-hunting husband-and-wife team called in by Texas Parks and Wildlife could not locate the alligator earlier in the evening. But two men, who did not identify themselves or their credentials to onlookers, were eventually successful in nabbing the reptile about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Cherry said.
A crowd of 10 to 15 spectators watched the struggle between the two men and the alligator ensue while ducks waited out the ordeal on the other side of the pond.
"Someone asked if they were game wardens, and the man said, 'No, we're just doing an act of community service.'"
The man with the fishing pole was able to pull the alligator to shore, where the second man wrestled the alligator for control.
"After he jumped on the alligator, the alligator flipped over, and the man flipped him back over and taped his mouth," Cherry said.
Once the alligator's mouth was taped, the reptile settled down. When the struggle subsided, one of the men placed the alligator in a cooler in his truck, telling onlookers he planned to release the creature elsewhere but did not identify where.
First reports of the alligator's visit to the duck pond surfaced Monday morning. Victoria Parks and Recreation quickly posted signs of a cartoon alligator carrying a suitcase near the pond to warn guests about the sighting.
"I thought he was a bigger alligator because he was really strong and really putting up a fight," Cherry said. "I couldn't imagine if it would have been a kid going up to it or something. Who knows what would have happened?"