Well, consider one urban legend busted. Rather than in our sewer system, a 3-year-old alligator was found in a Bensonhurst backyard this week.
Via the New York Post, “three-foot-long, 3-year-old Dino was sunbathing next to a small wading pool in a Bensonhurst back yard around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday when a neighbor saw it and called cops.” Which, cool. Good to know that even an alligator has a more luxurious outdoor space setup than I do. Perfect. Lest you think that the alligator was just wandering the streets of Brooklyn, looking for the nicest available backyard, let us assure you that this, at least, is not something you need to worry about. In fact, Dino was sunbathing in his very own backyard, and is the pet of Victor Alexandria, a known exotic animal-enthusiast and local scofflaw.
Although the police were initially only going to issue Alexandria a summons, once they found out that he had a warrant out for his arrest (“for failing to appear for a ticket for riding his bike on the sidewalk”), Alexandria “was charged with disorderly conduct for creating a hazardous condition and a misdemeanor for domesticating the wild animal. If convicted, he faces a $500 fine and up to a year in jail.”
Dino the alligator is now being held by a local animal shelter, and Alexandria—”who has 17 prior arrests, some related to his love of wild creatures”—has pledged to do whatever he can to secure the release and return home of Dino. After all, claims Alexandria, “What’s the big deal about a gator? It’s a reptile, and it doesn’t do any bodily harm to anybody as long as you treat it the right way. I give it goldfish about twice a week. The alligator has never bitten me.”
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