An unexpected visitor was found nearly knocking at a Waveland resident’s front door just before dawn Monday.
While Mikelle Tingstrom was fast asleep in her home on the 1200 block of Waveland Ave., an alert motorist caught a glimpse of an alligator slowly creeping in Tingstrom’s front yard and immediately alerted authorities.
When officials arrived, they found the rather large reptile crawling in the grass less than 20 feet from Tingstrom's front door.
Tingstrom said her alarm clock had not even gone off yet.
“I heard one of my dogs barking and then I heard voices,” she said. “I didn't know what was going on. I got up and peeked out my blinds and could see the tail end of a police car.”
To her surprise, Tingstrom said, the first things she saw when she walked outside to check things out — still dressed in her pajamas — were Sgt. Chance Seal from the Waveland Police Department and gator trapper Scott Lafontaine straddling the wild animal.
“He put up a bit of a fight, but they got the better of him,” Tingstrom said. “I was in disbelief at what I was seeing, but not in great fear, because he was nearly secured. The alligator trapper was straddling the gator and a policeman was getting ready to tape his mouth by the time I walked out my door. It was amazing to watch them contain him.”
Tingstrom said officials measured the reptile at about 7 feet long. She said authorities assured her they were going to relocate the alligator to a safe location. Although Tingstrom said she is not sure who called central dispatch to report the animal, she would like to thank that person.
“I'm grateful a concerned citizen took the time to phone the sighting in,” she said. “There are children and small pets who live just two houses down from me and if this gator had gotten any further, well, it could have been bad.”
Tingstrom also gave kudos to the officer who assisted in the capture.
“I'm pretty sure holding an alligator at bay is not in (a police officer’s) job description,” she said.