Animal cruelty charges may be filed against a Town of Beloit man, after a property owner discovered a three to four foot long alligator running loose in an apartment above a tavern.

The landlord contacted police after he went into the apartment Sunday to clean it, about a week after the tenant had been evicted, and found the gator running loose inside. The landlord was able to wrestle the reptile and get it into a bathtub, before contacting police.

Town of Beloit officer Janelle Jurkiewicz, who responded to the call, says the animal was hissing when she arrived and did not appear to have been well cared for. She contacted the Rock County Human Society, which took control of the gator. The agency plans to send it to the "Serpent Sanctuary" in Fort Atkinson.

Jurkiewicz says the suspected former owner is not in police custody. She says animal abuse charges could be filed.

AUDIO: Town of Beloit officer Janelle Jurkiewicz (MP3 :12)

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