Two of the three men arrested after a live alligator was taken from its tank inside a downtown Little Rock Nature Center Wednesday night were intoxicated, according to officers’ accounts.
Little Rock police arrested Kevin Patrick, 24, of Alexander, Landon Williamson, 24, of Bryant, and Samuel Cooper, 23, of Benton in the burglary of the Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center, 602 President Clinton Ave.
All three were charged with commercial burglary, theft of property and first-degree criminal mischief. Cooper was also charged with fleeing.
Officers reportedly arrived at the center around 11:45 p.m. to find an aquarium housing two turtles shattered and water covering the floor, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.
Employees told police that a live American alligator had been stolen. A glass case that held a shotgun valued at $2,000 was also busted, and the gun was missing, police reported.
A hand-painted replica rattlesnake, alligator teeth and replica bird calls were also stolen, employees said.
As police were searching the center, Patrick entered the building and appeared to be intoxicated, according to an arrest report. He was said by police to be in possession of “alligator teeth and small toy duck calls” and had slurred speech, bloodshot eyes and smelled of marijuana.
Patrick reportedly complied with officers’ order to get on the ground.
Police said Cooper was spotted walking outside the business holding the stolen Browning Golden Clay shotgun. The 23-year-old ran and dropped the gun as he led officers on a chase, authorities said.
Cooper was caught as he reached a silver 2004 Nissan Maxima that was registered to Patrick. He was “too intoxicated to give a statement” or his fingerprints to police, an arrest report said.
Williamson, the third suspect, was found sitting in the vehicle and was also arrested. The 3-foot-long alligator was also