Clearwater homeowner speaks out after gator breaks into home

Pinellas County
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CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – It’s the ultimate “Florida story.” 

A Clearwater woman woke up early Friday morning to find an 11-foot gator in her kitchen.

Mary Wischhusen said she was rudely awakened by a sudden crash at about 3:30 a.m.

“I thought it was the ceiling in the roof coming,” said Wischhusen. “It was loud, it was really loud, like it was coming from this roof into the kitchen.”

She was shocked to find an 11-foot gator was behind all the commotion.

“There he was in the entrance way to the kitchen just laying there, never opened his mouth or anything,” she recalled.

The gator busted through a window and entered the kitchen.

The powerful creature left dents on her wall and her fridge, and tore chunks out of chairs.

She immediately called 911: “I have a gigantic alligator who came in my garage and sitting in my kitchen.”

“It’s huge!” she exclaimed on the call. “I don’t know how it got here but its here.”

“He was hunting for something, he was definitely hunting for something, and he found the wine,” said Wischhusen. “[He] broke four wine bottles, and I think he got into the wine because he was docile. He was not interested in moving. And he stayed there until the catchers came.”

Wischhusen has been a nurse for more than 50 years, so it takes a lot to scare her.

“I hyperventilated a little bit, that’s about all I did. And I think it’s because my training keeps me kind a little cool,” she said.

Wischhusen observed that the gator seemed docile, so she went back to her bedroom.

“I said ‘I don’t want to play with you,’” said Wischhusen. “I didn’t know what to do with myself, so I went on the internet and went playing on games.”

Wischhusen typically leaves the light on in the kitchen and she believes that’s what attracted the gator. She never could’ve imagined anything like this.

“Its like hell,” she said. “Its like, why me? When all these condos are empty and no one’s around? Why me?” 

Ten officers and two trappers arrived and took the gator away to a private location.

Wischhusen has no interest in having another surprise guest any time soon.

“I’ve had many abnormal events in my life but I don’t want to do this one again, no,” she said.

Wischhusen jokingly blamed the homebuilder for installing a window so close to the ground. But jokes aside, she is glad to be ok. 

She urges people to be on the lookout for aggressive gators during mating season.

“Its mating season for the gators so they’re looking for trouble,” she said.


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