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Suspected Alligator Lurking Along Allegheny River Near Cheswick

CHESWICK (KDKA) – For Cheswick Police Chief Robert Scott, it's a case that does not involve your usual suspect.

"In my 34 years of police work, I've never had anything like this," he says.

For the first time in his career, the chief finds himself heading up an investigation into alligator sightings in and along the Allegheny River.

There are tell-tale drag marks along the river banks and eyewitness accounts from at least two people who claim to have actually seen the reptile.

There is enough credible evidence for police to issue a warning to boaters and residents.

"Let them know who got a sighting on this so they can take precautions," the chief says.

Chief Scott says it's believed to be the same alligator spotted in Indiana Township last month.

It was likely someone's pet, though no one has reported an alligator missing.

The tracks and drag marks are located near a dock along Watercrest Way in Cheswick. The animal is believed to be about six-feet long.

KDKA's Kym Gable talked to one man who came there to prove the footprints did, indeed, come from an alligator.

"I'm going to try and find a fresh track," said Mark Shock as he filled the indentations with plaster. "It's an ambush predator. If that's what it is, I don't want to walk through there and startle him. Not very intelligent. He could grab hold of you. Especially a kid."

The chief says his department is limited in what it can do.

"We're not trained, obviously. We've had a couple people call and say they've had experience with alligators," said Chief Scott.

And to capture the elusive creature?

One caller gave the chief some advice: "Grab it by the tail and wrap tape around the jaw. And I was thinking, 'I just can't see me doing that.'"

Chief Scott has been in touch with the State Game Commission. He also has calls into the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium.

In May, two Etna teens found a small alligator in Little Pine Creek. The boys say they were swimming when one of them heard a hissing noise and were surprised to find themselves face-to-face with a gator.

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