VIERA, Fla. -- A knock at the door -- Marie Maxwell, 75, was at home in Suntree watching Jeopardy on Saturday evening after dinner. She looked at her husband. Another knock.
She opened her front door and just beyond the screen lay a large alligator, by her estimate, longer than six feet. It was fat, with a wide head.
She called the police, but by the time they arrived it was gone. She figures it went to a pond behind her home on Country Club Drive. She called a trapper who arrived Sunday and placed what looked like a pot roast on a rope in her pond.
Tuesday evening the ladies she plays Bunco with at Suntree Country Club presented her with a joke certificate, the "Crocodile Dundee Award." It commended her for "courageous action taken when faced with the ferocious beast, Lurch, known and feared by residents of the Suntree Country Club region."
Wednesday, something took the bait. She called the trapper and our partners at FLORIDA TODAY.
In the pond behind her home, a four-foot reptile sat at the end of a quarter-inch thick white cord. As a trapper pulled it from the water and hogtied it, Maxwell noticed it seemed too small.
"But that's not the one we saw," she said. "Now I have to worry more."
The trapper told her to let him know if she sees the big one again. He put the little gator in the back of his truck, tucked it under a burlap sheet and drove off.