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'Gator' meant to keep children away fools police officers

Thursday, June 2, 2011 | 9:22 a.m. CDT

INDEPENDENCE — Police responding to an alligator sighting in a suburban Kansas City pond took quick action to dispatch the big reptile.

It wasn't until after the second rifle shot bounced off the beast Sunday that the three Independence officers realized it was a concrete lawn ornament.

Independence police spokesman Tom Gentry says the department received a call from a man who said a gator had been spotted in the woods.

Gentry says the alligator was in the weeds near a tree by a pond and it looked real. An officer shot the gator twice in the head — per instructions from a conservation officer — before realizing it wasn't moving.

Gentry says the landowner told officers he put the fake gator there to keep children off his property.

 


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