When an alligator lurks, Stearns County's finest respond


This was no routine call to a Minnesota sheriff's dispatcher.

From out of the murky lowlands near the Sauk River the call for help came from a Rockville homeowner. Or at least the mower of the lawn at a Rockville home.

And what the intrepid mower had spotted was no snake in the grass. It was an alligator, the caller asserted. A couple of feet long.

The deputy who soon arrived made a cautious approach – expecting the reptile to retreat to a watery lair. But no.

Even a prod with a baton elicited no response.

Except, perhaps for the light bulbs that illuminated over certain heads. This was no gator. It was a toy.

Was some neighbor kid giggling behind a tree? Was the lawn mower (the person, not the machine) a conspirator in a hoax?

We may never know. Because the sheriff's office did not include those details in their news release alerting us to the afternoon drama in Rockville in their best Jack Webb voice. (That's a Dragnet reference.)

The St. Cloud Times, and radio stations WJON and KVSC picked up on the story.

Real life alligators do live on the Mississippi River, but experts say they're unlikely to venture north of about Memphis, Tennessee.

What happened to this not-real gator? The sheriff's department says "It was safely removed." Just the facts.

Next Up

Willians Astudillo

Twins pitchers decimated: 16 runs, 18 hits, 8 walks ... 4 strikeouts

The White Sox hammered the Twins 16-4 but Astudillo took the mound in the ninth.


Girl shot in the head at birthday party 'fighting for her life'

Trinity Ottoson-Smith was struck by a bullet in the head last weekend.

Kelly Kleine

Broncos hire Vikings' Kelly Kleine as highest-ranking woman scout in NFL history

Kleine will reunite in Denver with former Vikings executive George Paton.

Joel Eriksson Ek

Wild looks to exorcise demons from haunted Game 2 history

The Wild have lost nine straight Game 2s entering Tuesday night's tilt with Vegas.


Woman who died in crash after car lost tire in Minneapolis is ID'd

The 35-year-old Minneapolis woman was originally from Mahnomen.

Flickr - fishing minnesota 2020 -Lorie Shaull

Curious conservation officer reports from the Minnesota DNR

Gravel thieves, raucous campers and some quick thinking that backfired.

St. Paul police squad

Police 'tactically disengage' from standoff in St. Paul

The incident lasted approximately 2 1/2 hours.


Another Raising Cane's set to open in the Twin Cities

This will be the 11th Raising Cane's restaurant in the metro area.

kimberly potter

Trial of former police officer Kimberly Potter starts Dec. 6

Potter is charged in the shooting death of Daunte Wright.

Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis.

Health care workers ratify tentative agreement with Allina Health

The union was threatening a strike just two weeks ago.


Warm winter, yes, ... but alligators in Bloomington?

They're not sure how it got there but police removed an alligator from a pond in Bloomington. The three-and-a-half foot reptile was found after a man complained the gator had hissed at his dog. A fisherman told Fox 9 "There's a big one back there, too."