2 men charged in gator dumping

first_imgA former police officer and another man were charged Thursday with dumping an alligator into an urban lake where it has thwarted would-be captors and gained a following. Authorities say Todd Natow, 42, and Anthony Brewer, 36, released the 7-foot reptile into Harbor Regional Park’s Machado Lake, where it has become known by the public as Reggie. Natow, who worked for the Los Angeles Police Department for 17 years before leaving in 2001, faces 14 misdemeanor counts of unlawful possession of restricted animals, releasing an alligator into the lake, causing a public nuisance and marijuana possession, the City Attorney’s Office announced. Brewer, 36, faces six misdemeanor charges including many of the same counts that Natow faces. Each count carries a maximum penalty of six months to one year in jail as well as a possible $1,000 fine. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake The defendants, both of the city’s San Pedro area, are out on bail pending their Feb. 15 arraignment, authorities said. It was unclear whether they had retained defense attorneys. A message left at a phone number listed for Natow was not returned; Brewer’s number was unlisted. They were arrested in August after officers raided Natow’s home and recovered three alligators, four piranha fish, one rattlesnake, three desert tortoises, six desert tortoise eggs, one scorpion and six marijuana plants. Police said evidence of an alligator habitat, photographs of alligators, narcotics and two live snapping turtles were found at Brewer’s home. “These guys should not have thought they could get away with this,” Councilwoman Janice Hahn said. “We have spent hundreds of thousands on overtime and other costs related to catching Reggie, and the lake has been closed off to the public for months.” The alligator has caused a stir in Los Angeles, with officials seeking out professional wranglers, and residents, unaccustomed to seeing gators in their lakes, showing up in droves in hopes of spotting the reptile. Reggie, however, has eluded capture for months and is now thought to be in hibernation. Australian alligator hunter Steve Irwin has checked out the lake, and plans to return in the spring to try to catch Reggie. last_img read more