Published: Jul 22, 2011 3:20 PM EDT
Updated: Jul 22, 2011 2:09 PM EDT

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla.- A Charlotte County Sheriff's deputy arrested a Port Charlotte man Thursday evening for possessing an alligator found in the man’s living room.

The deputy went to the home of Jason Michael Ward, 29, of 17312 Marcy Avenue to serve a domestic violence injunction. Ward invited the deputy into his home and upon entry, in plain view; the deputy saw a baby alligator in an aquarium. Ward said he caught the alligator in the Hillsborough Blvd. area with his bare hands and, “They are easy to catch.” 

Deputies called Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission to respond. Upon arrival, FWC Officers said the alligator was under a year old and that it was illegal to capture or possess an alligator without a permit; Ward did not have a permit.

Ward was arrested for felony Capture and Possession of an alligator; he was transported to the Charlotte County Jail and later was released after posting a $2,500 bond. FWC Officers took possession of the alligator to release.