CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Police came face-to-face with an gator during a raid in Irving Park Tuesday.
And that’s not all they found.
CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot spoke to a stunned neighbor who lives on the first floor of the North Troy Street building. He said he was surprised by the alligator but more concerned about the drugs and guns that were found.
The gator appears to smile for the camera after it’s put in a crate by animal care and control officers and taken from the scene.
Richard Hallinan said his first floor neighbors moved in about three years ago.
“I work nights, they work days so we don’t see each other that much,” Hallinan said when he woke up to loud noises.
“Glass crashing. Doors poppin’. I’m calling the police. I’m calling the police (but) no one told me they were the police,” Hallinan said. “I made two calls and I still heard the commotion upstairs. I didn’t know if someone was being killed up there, what was going on.”
Armed with a warrant, police recovered drugs, guns and the Irving Park alligator on the second floor. It’s the second alligator found in Chicago since July. The elusive Chance the Snapper was discovered in the Humboldt Park Lagoon.
Sources said gangs are known to have alligators as status symbols. They think they can control them until they get too big and attack.
As for Hallinan, he said the alligator being found in the home above him was the least of his worries.
“What the police told me about guns and drugs, that’s what they said, I don’t know,” Hallinan said. “The alligator is the furthest thing from my mind.”
Police said the person they were looking for wasn’t home.
As for the alligator, it was transferred to the Illinois Herpetological Society. As of now there are no court proceedings pending because the alligator’s owner wasn’t there to produce permits that they’re allowed to keep the gator.
If the person comes forward with permits within seven days, Chicago Animal Care and Control would turn that over to the state for a review.