A routine drug arrest at an Oklahoma community college took a bizarre turn Wednesday morning after officers discovered a live alligator in the trunk of the suspect’s vehicle.
Shane Allen, 21, was reportedly passed out it in his Jeep when Tulsa police discovered he was in possession of Xanax and marijuana.
But it was what they found in the trunk of the Jeep that really caught them off guard.
“It goes from just checking on him to an alligator in the car,” said senior academic administrator Brett Campbell.
The 4 1/2-foot-long reptile was found in a dog kennel with several large rubber bands covering its mouth.
“Because of the size and threat of the critter, we have to be careful what to do with him,” said Carlos Gomez, a state game warden for Tulsa County. “It’s not a lizard in a cage.”
The Tulsa Community College student was eventually arrested on several drug charges while the alligator was moved to the state game warden’s vehicle. Local media reported that the Department of Wildlife Conservation would take possession of the alligator until a permanent home could be found for it.
The student told officers he didn’t have a permit but had gotten the animal from a nearby friend.
In Oklahoma, it’s illegal to possess an alligator without a permit. As a result, the student is facing a citation that could range from a few hundred dollars all the way up to a few thousand.
Although he said he had brought the alligator onto campus for a scheduled program, Campbell said he was unaware of any such program taking place – or how such a program would benefit from having a live alligator in a classroom setting.
“In my 25 years in higher education, I’ve never seen this,” he said.
Sources: Tulsa World