July 12th, 2011
10:48 AM ET

Gator bites boy at park after man lets reptile out

A man at an Indiana amusement park pulled a small alligator out of its enclosure, offered some children the chance to pet it and then fled when the gator bit an 11-year-old boy, police said.

"Someone we're still trying to identify was able to get one of the alligators out," said Sgt. Michael Grennes of the Valparaiso Police Department.

Grennes said the police are investigating Monday's incident and it's unclear what charges, if any, the man may face.

A Valparaiso police incident report said the man took a pole with string attached, which patrons may use to feed gators from a distance, to create a noose and pull out an alligator. After fishing the reptile out of its enclosure, the man told some children they could pet the alligator, the report said.

"The alligator snipped at one of the fingers of one of the kids that was there," Grennes said.

According to the police report, the boy was injured on his right index finger. Grennes said the injury was not serious.

Grennes said a woman believed to have been with the man at the time has since said she cannot identify him.

"She continues to tell us she doesn't know who he is," Grennes said.

The Valparaiso park, called Zao Island, is a small family entertainment center that includes go-karts and mini golf  as well as the live alligators.

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Filed under: Alligators • Indiana
soundoff (57 Responses)

    sorry,,,, i didn't think it would bite anyone...

    July 12, 2011 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  2. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    You ought to be ashamed of yourself.
    A few of then do have an instinct to bite, although they are known to be friendly.

    July 12, 2011 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  3. DOH!

    Gator later confirmed boy did indeed taste like chicken.

    July 12, 2011 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  4. Sheryl

    Really, Joey?
    I didn't know that...or I never would have bought these shoes.

    July 12, 2011 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jazzzzzzz

    And the took a chomp at the *little* boy intstead of the *man* , Dumb Gator...LMAO

    July 12, 2011 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  6. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Many decades ago I had a pet pyrranna in a tank on my desk. He refused hamburger meat.
    I fed him goldfish, but I never saw him eat one. I'd put them into the tank, and some time later they'd be gone.
    He was a wonderful pet and loved me very much.

    July 12, 2011 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  7. RN

    Either stupid stupid stupid or he is sick sick sick and wanted something bad to happen.

    July 12, 2011 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  8. dave

    The boy just wanted to be like the kid in Florida that dragged one home a while back. Stupid is as stupid does it's a wonder they both aren't gator bait.

    July 12, 2011 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  9. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    "Sebastian saw God that summer in the Encantados..."
    –Tennessee Williams

    July 12, 2011 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  10. HRH banasy


    What an ass!
    Why would he even *think* this was a good idea?

    July 12, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Roy Milguard

    Bad idea on this man's part. He deserves punishment but not the ruining of his life, including financially, that would happen in America, just for a kid's not-seriously-injured finger. His friend's refusal to identify him will save him hundreds of $thousands.

    July 12, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Philip

    I guess this story IS more interesting than the one about a police officer that has been charged with 78 counts of child molesting. They're all boys too. (probly why CNN doesn't cover the story) He's sitting in jail in Colorado Springs on a half-million dollar bond. One quick question...since they're all boys, does that mean that the cop is gay? (last time i checked, straight cops like girls)

    July 12, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jazzzzzzz

      In a case that has riveted Colorado for the past few weeks, a former police officer has been charged with 78 counts of child abuse. If convicted of just one of the counts - assault of a child by one in a position of trust - the 30-year-old could be sent to prison for life.

      July 12, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Wait wait, don't tell me...

    ...he was born that way. Right? Isn't that the explanation these days?

    July 12, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Wait wait, don't tell me...

    That's OK. Everyone avoids answering that question, not just you. (shrug)

    July 12, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  15. HRH banasy

    I would like to know why this hasn't been reported on this blog, either...is it perhaps on other blogs?
    I don't know.
    Maybe Philip could post a link to the story.
    Or, maybe, give us updates, like ACP did.

    July 12, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
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