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6-foot gator guards indoor pot farm

March 16, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Union City police detained a 30-year-old man Friday on suspicion of possession and sales of marijuana before a struggle ensued between officers and the suspect's unusual housemate, a 6-foot-long alligator.

Officers responded to the Westview Apartments on Decoto Road at about 11:15 a.m. to conduct a probation search, police said. Responding officers allegedly found a "substantial number" of marijuana plants throughout the apartment, according to police.

In addition, officers discovered an adolescent American Alligator in a large glass terrarium inside the unit's living room, police reported.

Union City's sole animal control officer requested assistance from the Department of Fish and Game and a Fremont police animal control officer who had once conducted a similar capture.

Officers also received advice from the Oakland Zoo on how to secure the alligator. Authorities used poles in an effort to capture the alligator as it slid around the terrarium, said Sgt. Raul Galindo. After about 25 minutes, the alligator was secured and then transported to the Oakland Zoo.

The suspect, Eric Windom, was arrested on felony charges connected to the possession and sales of marijuana as well as charges of being a felon in possession of a handgun and possessing illegal narcotics.


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