The Akron area has a long history with alligator sightings.
Sometimes they’re real and sometimes they’re not.
Springfield Township had its first brush in recent memory with the toothy reptile on Monday, when a caller to 911 spotted what looked like an alligator in a pond off Killian Road.
Turns out the alligator was a fake one, according to Police Sgt. Eric East, who added, “By golly, she’s a beauty.”
Police Chief Dave Hoover, who’s juggling a downsized force that struggles to keep up with the 1,100 to 1,500 calls a month it averages, had no hard feelings about the reported sighting.
He said it was more amusing than annoying.
The township’s encounter with an alligator, fake or not, isn’t unheard of in the murky waters of Summit County.
In 1980, a 2-foot alligator emerged from a sewer in Joy Park in Akron. It had been flushed by a pet owner when it was about 6 inches long.
The Akron Zoo adopted the reptile and dubbed it “Allie the Alligator.” It was eventually sent to Okefenokee Swamp in southern Georgia.
In January 2003, a baby alligator was found in a store at Akron’s Arlington Plaza, and in July 2007, a 4-foot alligator — it might have been a caiman — was fished out of Summit Lake in Akron.
Three years later, a baby alligator was pulled from the same lake by a shocked angler who said he saw a 6-foot alligator surface as he reeled in the little one.
Brimfield entered the game in late June 2014, when a 3-foot alligator was found in a resident’s closet. Three officers managed to subdue the beast.
Its fate is not known.
Hoover, who is serving his second stint as police chief in Springfield Township, saw the humor in Monday's alleged gator sighting.
“It was something to laugh about,” he said. “Something to break up the day.”
Alan Ashworth can be reached at 330-996-3859 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @newsalanbeaconjournal.