Florida Fish and Wildlife gives warning to man who trapped gator on neighbor's porch

TAMPA, Fla. - Aaron French is the talk of his New Tampa neighborhood. And it's alI because of a seven-foot alligator.  A woman spotted it while out walking her dog.   

"So the neighbor knocked on my door, and in the excitement said, 'Hey, there's a gator in the road.'   My thought immediately is what is a gator doing in the road," explained French.

By the time French got there, the gator had moved to the front porch of another neighbor's home.  

"He was climbing the door, the snout was up, his claws on the door.  As he was slipping, he was turning around, he heard me, his tail was hitting the window," recalled French.

He was concerned the woman who lived there might open the door.

"I went and got a lasso rope, came back and put it around his foot and pulled him out; tied him up to the no parking sign and called the police," said French.

According to Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission Officer Robert Scholl, roping that gator is a big no-no.

"The gentleman trapped the alligator, and it's against the law to trap an alligator if you do not have an alligator trapping permit," said Scholl.

Aaron French was given an official warning by the State of Florida for trapping an alligator without a license.  But neighbors that live around here say that that's just not the way it should be.

Kim Van Rooyen, who lives nearby, said, "He didn't do anything wrong.  I mean a neighbor contacted him, apparently, and he didn't touch the gator."

"I am so thrilled that he did that.  Thank you Mr. French," said Diane Trigilia.

Even after the warning, French says he do it again.
"I told them it was ridiculous and that I helped my neighbor.  And I just don't see what they're talking about," said French.

The gator was eventually taken away by a licensed trapper.

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