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Man Wrestles Alligator at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park

By  Katie Honan and Ben Fractenberg | September 15, 2015 3:00pm | Updated on September 15, 2015 4:20pm

 Joe Genovese helped officials capture an alligator Tuesday that had been loose in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park since August, Sept. 15, 2015. 
Flushing Meadows-Corona Park Alligator
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FLUSHING — Call him Alligator Dundee.

A Queens bike mechanic helped the NYPD Emergency Service’s Unit capture an alligator nicknamed "Jaws" that has been living in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park since August, the mechanic and officials told DNAinfo.

Joe Genovese, 63, used a fishing rod to snag and flip over the gator, which was about 18 to 24 inches long, after spotting it in a pond near Meadow Lake.

"I caught him! I got him on the first try," an excited Genovese told DNAinfo New York. "I pulled my rod under his tail, he flipped over, and I caught him."

Genovese, who works at the Wheel Fun Rentals, which rents out bikes in the park, saw a crowd of people near the pond at about 1:45 p.m. He walked over and spotted the alligator.

He told the crowd to stay calm and soon returned with his fishing rod.

He then flipped over the animal, hooked it with his fishing pole and then wrestled it out of the pond, Genovese said.  

"He put up a fight, it was a good fight."

Once it was out of the water he helped ESU officers tape its mouth shut and then put the alligator into a bag.

Urban park rangers then took the alligator and transported it to animal care in Brooklyn, a parks department spokesman told DNAinfo. 

Genovese said the small alligator was harmless and he was more afraid of it not being caught before the weather turned cold. 

"It won't survive the winter," he said Monday. 

Genovese had spent several days looking for the gator, including a stint Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. trying to catch it. He told DNAinfo he wanted to find it a better home than the pond. Hours later, he finally had it.

"He was fun, I was carrying him around showing him off," Genovese said.