Deltona man charged after live alligator found in bathtub



DELTONA, Fla. - A Deltona man is facing charges after authorities said he kept a live alligator in his bathtub.

Authorities said a baby alligator barely a foot long was found floating in Sean Lewis' bathtub, which was set up as a homemade aquarium.

According to a Volusia County Sheriff's Office report, deputies said Lewis was keeping the gator in the tub at his mother's house.

Experts at the Central Florida Zoo said it's a good thing police found the reptile, because it was only a matter of time before it would have become more aggressive.

"I would assume within just a few months that would become very, very difficult for that individual and it's just not, just like I said, a proper environment for the animal, so we have to think of them, too," said expert Bonnie Breitbeil.

Deputies said Lewis' mother said her son told her he got the gator from a friend and that she had told him to get rid of it.

Lewis claimed the alligator was not his and that his friend dropped it off and never came back, but deputies believe he was keeping the animal on purpose.

The bathtub was converted into a makeshift aquarium, with a cinder block inside it for dry land and an overhead heat lamp to simulate sunlight.

"They're really for the experts to maintain and in the state of Florida, they have to be permitted to own them or possess them," said Breitbeil.

Officials took the gator to the St. Johns River and released it.