Officials: 4 people facing charges related to alligator found in Neptune

The Monmouth County SPCA says East Orange resident Savion Mendez initially purchased the young alligator at a reptile expo in Pennsylvania and brought it back to New Jersey.

News 12 Staff

Jan 19, 2023, 6:35 PM

Updated 539 days ago

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Four people are now facing charges related to reports that an alligator was found abandoned in an empty parking lot in Neptune Township.
The Monmouth County SPCA says East Orange resident Savion Mendez initially purchased the young alligator at a reptile expo in Pennsylvania and brought it back to New Jersey.
He was keeping the alligator in a 150-gallon tank at his home in East Orange. Officials say he was evicted from his East Orange home and moved into an apartment complex in Ocean Township, along with the alligator. Mendez and his new roommate are now also facing eviction in the Ocean Township location.
The SPCA says that Angel Rosario, an acquaintance of Mendez, offered to take the alligator to his home in Neptune Township. They say that Rosario’s parents would not allow him to keep the 3-foot reptile in their home.
Officials say that they staged a situation where they claimed that they found the alligator abandoned in a plastic bin in an empty parking lot in freezing temperatures.
“We know now that at no point surrounding these circumstances was the alligator left in a dangerous or life-threatening situation,” an SPCA spokesperson said in a statement.
Mendez will have regulatory charges brought against him by the New Jersey Department of Fish and Wildlife. It is illegal to own an alligator in New Jersey.
Rosario and his parents are facing charges of falsifying a police report.
The alligator is now in the custody of the Cape May Zoo and is said to be doing fine.


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