PORTLAND, Ore. – A Clackamas County man who calls himself the “Reptile Man” is claiming responsibility for jumping into a pond in Gresham Sunday and pulling out an alligator.
“Had been hearing rumors of a loose alligator in Gresham and decided to take a swim Sunday morning for a look about,” Richard Ritchey of Colton, Ore., wrote on his website. “As I approached the bank of the pond he resided in, he took off like a shot to the middle of the pond. He seemed a bit irritated from all the attention he had received over the past couple days.”
“I swam out to the center of the pond and he submerged and stayed put. I slowly approached the spot where he disappeared and waited for him to pop back up. When he did, I grabbed him and the fight was on. Rolling, snapping, and hissing. I brought him back alive and well to be the star of my traveling reptile exhibit.”
Ritchey has entertained audiences across the Northwest for over 20 years, according to his website.