Alligators, Bearded Dragons Among Wild Animals Seized in Brooklyn Raid

By Jess Wisloski and Jesse Lent  on September 8, 2012 5:56pm

CROWN HEIGHTS — Police seized 13 exotic animals, including alligators, bearded dragons, and a tarantula in the raid of a public housing unit Friday, police said.

On Friday afternoon at 1:30 p.m., Animal Care and Control officers removed five pythons and a boa constrictor, as well as two alligators, two bearded dragons, a gecko, a scorpion, and a tarantula, from the fifth-floor apartment of a Crown Heights public housing complex called the Weeksville Houses, police said, as part of an ongoing investigation.

Neighbors at the 1625 Dean Street building, said the city's findings were shocking. They also said the wild animals were not the only beasts living in the unit.

"They've got some big dogs," said Jeff Hayes, 43, a private contractor. "They've got some pit bulls up there. They need to do something," he said, speaking about the city-contracted animal protection agency, AC&C.

"That tarantula scares me more than anything because the poison is deadly," added Hayes.

Lumber yard worker Klein Poe, 30, whose family lives below the unit, said he knew of three pit bulls living in the unit. "I hear them running back and forth over my head all the time. I hear it all night," he said.

The large pit bulls already scared him as it was, he said, when he would take his 5-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter out. He also said the owners weren't responsible cleaning up after the dogs.

"There's urine and feces in the hallway and nine times out of ten, it was them," he said. "In these types of apartments who would want three dogs?"

He said the tenants upstairs often had water leaks directly into their unit. "It's straight weird," he said. "I've had little problems with them."

In the past, he said, when NYCHA, which runs the public housing complex, wanted to get into the fifth-floor unit to check on the leaks, he said the tenants would bar city workers from entering. "They didn't want to let them in," he said. "Now it all makes sense."

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