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  1. #1

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    L.A. alligator arrested for fishing in protected waters with a shotgun while drunk

    Ok, so it's not Wally Gator, and he wasn't really arrested.. but it's still a pretty cool story...

    LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- For months, the city's most famous reptile eluded paparazzi and faithful fans who gathered at the edge of a park lake to catch a glimpse of the A-list alligator.

    But when "Reggie" decided to come out, the gator did it in true Hollywood style: Swarmed by fans and photographers as it sunned by the water, the reptile was whisked away with a police escort as TV helicopters gave chase and broadcast live footage of the cagey critter's freeway journey to the zoo.
    "We were petting him, talking to him," said City Councilwoman Janice Hahn, whose district includes the park. "I feel like I know him because I've invested a lot of time and energy in him."
    The 6-foot alligator believed to be Reggie, who lurked in Harbor Regional Park's Lake Machado for two years, was wrestled into captivity Thursday. The wily beast became a celebrity as it eluded would-be wranglers and managed to disappear for 18 months until it recently resurfaced.
    Bad timing may have ruined Reggie's free rein at the lake.
    The alligator was spotted on land around 3:30 p.m. -- just as officials and wildlife experts met nearby to find a way to snag the gator.
    "We were about to talk about strategies for catching him when somebody called and said 'He's out of the lake,"' Hahn said. "So we said, 'Let's go now, let's get him."'
    The cold-blooded creature was sunning itself in an area fenced in several days ago in hopes of corralling it. Park officials closed a gate, and Los Angeles Zoo reptile expert Ian Recchio put a hook around the gator's neck.
    Five or six men wrestled to restrain the thrashing alligator until its jaws could be duct taped shut. Hahn was certain the gator was Reggie.
    Firefighters strapped it to a board and loaded it into an animal control truck for transport to the zoo. A police car escorted the truck as news helicopters followed.
    The zoo planned to keep Reggie in quarantine from 30 to 60 days and then eventually introduce the animal to other alligators.
    Reggie was an illegal pet allegedly tossed into the 50-acre lake by a former policeman when it got too big. The officer pleaded not guilty in April to 14 misdemeanor charges and awaits trial.
    When the animal was first spotted in the murky lake in August 2005, it became a sensation as crowds gathered to catch a glimpse. Locals named it Reggie, though it's not clear whether the reptile is male or female.
    Gloria and Danny Gutierrez said they would go to the lake several times a week and watch for Reggie. Gloria Gutierrez wore a white T-shirt decorated with the words "Welcome back, Reggie."
    "We'd bring our chairs out here and a bag of fruit, and we'd talk with people we didn't even know," Danny Gutierrez said.
    The gator inspired a zydeco song, two children's books and innumerable T-shirts. Students at Los Angeles Harbor College next to the lake adopted Reggie as a second mascot.
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  2. #2

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    Re: L.A. alligator arrested for fishing in protected waters with a shotgun while drun

    I've been following this story for about a year now and I think it is just great. I have a tee-shirt. My hats off to reggie for being so smart. Its amazing how he avoided capture all of this time.
    I just got to go now. I am having a beer for reggie!
    It appears that everyone cares and he now has a good home, that is until he breaks out!

  3. #3

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    Re: L.A. alligator arrested for fishing in protected waters with a shotgun while drun

    I Reggie.

  4. #4

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    Re: L.A. alligator arrested for fishing in protected waters with a shotgun while drun

    I live 20 minutes from Harbor Regional park. My former science teacher, Martin Byhower, is a STRONG activist for cleaning up the park. Whenever you read about Reggie, his name comes up. I use to go the park every now and then to help clean it up, and once I came across and old, dismantled trap (presumably for the alligator). It use to be a very nice, clean area. Now it is used by homeless, criminals, and drug dealers.

  5. #5

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    Re: L.A. alligator arrested for fishing in protected waters with a shotgun while drun

    "We were petting him, talking to him," said City Councilwoman Janice Hahn, whose district includes the park.
    I've known Janice and her husband for years. So I was delighted to open my cell phone the other day to check the news, and saw her lovely face as the headliner on Verizon's nationwide Mobile Web service. These headline photos change every couple of hours and I didn't know if she would be able to see it, so I ran back to the office so I could snap a picture of it before it disappeared! I mean...I couldn't very well use my cell phone camera to take a picture of my cell phone screen! It was pretty funny.

    I emailed her to congratulate her on the capture and all the Press she seemed to be enjoying, and then told her she was on everyone's cell phones, and I attached the photo:



    I had heard about Reggie before, but I had no idea it had been going on all this time! He's one lucky gator. In some parts of Los Angeles...that gator would have been caught in one day and served up for dinner that same night!


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