LEAGUE CITY, Texas – It took three hours, lots of muscle, and a few sheets of plywood to pull a nearly 12-feet-long alligator from Clear Creek, leaving a family counting its blessings after quite the scare.
The gator had its sights set on 4-year-old Brandalyn Grande, who was playing with her brother and babysitter Friday along part of the creek that abuts her family’s home in League City.
“He was headed straight for her, there’s no doubt that’s where he was headed,” said Andrew Grande, Sr., who was in the backyard when he saw the beast’s head dip up and below the water.
“Came straight up to the bulkhead and sunk back down,” Grande said.
“I happened to be standing kinda where we are right now picking something up and I happened to look back and not ten yards from her was a huge alligator kinda coming straight in her distance right toward her,” he described.
Grande said he ran toward Brandalyn and Robin Randolph, the family’s babysitter.
“(The gator) was making a bee-line for us,” Randolph explained. “Andrew had knocked me into the gate. Picked up Bambi and threw her over the fence,” Randolph said, describing the terrifying encounter.
The family says it was apparent the alligator had zeroed in on Brandalyn as prey. After Grande got both his daughter and her babysitter to safety, he called the Game Warden. That call eventually led to an alligator hunter.
All the while, according to Grande, the alligator remained in the water, bobbing its head up and down to see whether Brandalyn was in its reach.
“Whether he was gonna do anything, I don’t know. But I wasn’t going to take that chance,” Grande said.
Alligator sightings happen in Clear Creek, Grande said. But those that visit aren’t usually nearly 12 feet long, Grande said.
Cell phone video recorded the moment the alligator hunter was able to fit a rope around the alligator’s head. Grande said that part didn’t take long. What did was the process of hoisting 11 feet, 7 inches of alligator from the water.
“It took about three hours,” Grande said. It also took several people, several plywood boards to help left the alligator out of the water, and lots of courage to tape its mouth.
“You want to tell them about the alligator,” Grande asked Brandalyn.
“Don’t know,” she said.
“Was he big?” Her dad asked.
“Yeah!” she exclaimed.
Brandalyn, Robin, AJ, and the rest of the family is safe. That’s what matters, according to Grande.
Grande also expressed relief that the alligator is safe, as well. He said the alligator hunter took it to Gator Country in Beaumont, Texas where the family hopes to one day visit it.
“Good place they were happy to have them and we look forward to visiting him one day,” Grande said.