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One handcuffed, released during Moral Monday protest

Supporters held a Moral Monday protest for higher wages in Marshall Park on Monday.

They held signs and wore colorful shirts, trying to stand out in their cry for better workers’ rights.

Danielle Hilton rallied with the Moral Monday movement. This Labor Day, their message was about raising wages for labor workers and more inclusions of unions in the workplace.

“We have them to thank for the weekend, for the 40 hour week, overtime protections and so many other laws,” Hilton said.

Protesters quickly changed from rallying for workers’ rights to marching to get a man out of jail.

Witnesses said Ty Turner was putting campaign material on cars when he was handcuffed. Bike patrol officers told Turner he was violating a city ordinance.

Brandy Hamilton shot video of the incident and said Turner asked to see the ordinance when police put him in a cruiser.

“He was just standing strong with his feet planted and they were still forcing him to the police car,” Hamilton said.

About 30 people from the protest marched to the Mecklenburg County Jail, asking for Turner to be released.

Hamilton said the group’s goal was to show unity for rights and for justice, and to let their voices be heard.

Reporter Jenna Deery was told Turner was released from jail and was not charged. Leaders with the NAACP said they are going to be calling on the city’s citizens review board to look over the officers’ actions.

Published: Mon, 01 Sep 2014 22:22:05 -0400

3 in custody after shooting outside of York Co. store

A gunman opened fire outside a busy store in the middle of the afternoon on Labor Day. It happened around 1:30 p.m. at J and K County Store off Gordon Road in York County. One man is in the hospital and three others are in custody.

"There was a lot of children out here, a lot of people could have been hurt," Owner Karen Starkey said. "It was just crazy to open fire on one person when you got a parking lot full of people."

Karen and Jaime Starkey run the small country store near Gordon Road and Highway 322. The clerk and witnesses told them what they saw. 

"They told us that a Mercedes was coming down the road, and turned around in the yard -- had three people in it," Jaime said. "And one of them got out, and was waiting for the boy to come out of the store and started firing on him."

Bullets flew. The victim was hit by one of those bullets and had to be taken to CMC, but is expected to recover. The three men took off.

"One of them started running up the road, and the other two in the Mercedes left," Jaime said.

But deputies quickly caught up to them, and now all three are in custody.

Published: Mon, 01 Sep 2014 21:17:08 -0400

Students grieve loss of classmate after Hickory crash

As students and community members entered the First Presbyterian Church in Hickory Monday afternoon, there was scripture taped to the door. Organizers were hoping to do everything they could to comfort a community in mourning. 

"Grief is a very real thing but hope exists," said the Rev. Heather Wood Davis.

Jay Robertson, 17, was killed in a car crash Sunday evening. Police say he was riding down 6th Street with his friend, 17-year-old David Engelmann, when Engelmann lost control and the car flipped.

Teens gathered at the scene of the crash, and left flowers at Robertson’s parking spot at Hickory High School. They're in disbelief their friend is gone. Grief counselors will be at school Tuesday to help students sort this all out.

"He was crazy but we loved him," said Connor Stirewalt. "He was our boy. He made us laugh all the time."

"He was invincible," said Dylan Tashjian. "We all thought nothing like this would ever happen to him."

Dominique Canahai happened to be driving by Sunday night and was one of the first on scene. She says Robertson was lying on the ground but Engelmann was still inside the car and she was able to help him out. She took this picture of him at the scene.

"And I told him 'Are you OK?' and I was like praying to myself like God please help this kid," Canahai said.

Police say speed and alcohol caused the crash. Engelmann is charged with felony death by motor vehicle and driving while impaired among other charges.  We're told he is an Eagle Scout with a good reputation. Some believe the charges are too much.

"The punishment with him having to live the rest of his life with his friend being gone because of him is just unbearable in my opinion," Tashjian said.

Engelmann is out of jail on $10,000 bond.

Published: Mon, 01 Sep 2014 21:09:33 -0400

Judge orders another evaluation for man accused of raping, killing cousin

A judge ordered another psychiatric evaluation for a man accused of raping and killing his cousin in her south Charlotte apartment four years ago.

Derek Ward has bounced between jail, mental hospitals and state prison since his arrest.

He has filed papers in federal court to try to force prosecutors to take him to trial or release him.

After police arrested Ward in May 2010, he told them he had strangled his cousin to “rid her of demons.” Three months later, a psychiatrist who examined him wrote that Ward “appeared delusional.”

She said he claimed to party with lots of celebrities and that “He made statements about being able to control spaceships.”

Ward was sent to Broughton State Mental Hospital in Morganton, where he was charged with assaulting a staffer, breaking her nose and cheekbone. Since then, he has been in a medical ward at Central Prison in Raleigh. Doctors still say he is incapable of going to trial.

In the case he filed in federal court six weeks ago, Ward insists he is innocent. He also said he was being forced to get mental health treatment, and “being viciously drugged by force with a Belgian drug of torture.”

Ward repeated to a judge when he appeared at the courthouse last week that he is innocent and wants to go to trial.

“He can’t be put to trial; he can’t even plead guilty now even if he says he wants to plead guilty unless and until he’s found competent,” said legal analyst Tony Scheer.

Scheer, a former prosecutor, said if that does not happen, prosecutors may face the real possibility of dismissing the murder and rape charges, and committing Ward to a state mental hospital.

“It scares everybody to take an alleged murderer and put him into the civil instead of the criminal system, but that’s how the statute’s written. And I think it’s for a reason, so people won’t spend month after month coming back to court and talking about what they cannot do,” Scheer said.

Prosecutors may have one more chance at a trial. Ward agreed in court to undergo another test at Central Prison by the same psychiatrist who has examined him twice before.

Published: Mon, 01 Sep 2014 19:49:31 -0400

Google's self-driving car still has many flaws

We've seen each version of Google's self-driving car. (Video via Google)

"There's no steering wheel in the way." (Video via Google)

And we're ready to give it a test drive. So where is it?

​​​Well, a report out last week from MIT Technology Review outlines a number of obstacles Google needs to address before its cars can share the road.

For starters, they can't handle bad weather. Google has yet to test the vehicles in snow and heavy rain, making the car off-limits pretty much anywhere outside of California.

​Back in May, Google told us, "We've taught the vehicle to recognize and navigate through construction zones."

That's true to an extent, but the director of Google's car team, Chris Urmson, told MIT, "I could construct a construction zone that could befuddle the car." (Video via Google)

Potentially more dangerous is how it treats pedestrians. The car reportedly recognizes them as moving, human-shaped pixels, but Urmson agreed with MIT, which said, "The car wouldn't be able to spot a police officer at the side of the road frantically waving for traffic to stop."

​But maybe the largest obstacle: mapping. So far, Google has only a few thousand miles of roadways and driveways mapped for its cars. And the vehicles require more information than a basic Google map.

Gizmodo adds it’s a bit unreasonable to expect robocars to drive uncharted roads. "But this presents a hyper-magnified version of the same problem that faces electric cars: The inability to just get out there and go wherever."

And that's perhaps the ultimate obstacle. Still, Google is taking this one challenge at a time.

Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt previously told The Wall Street Journal: "We have to find where the limits are. We have to actually use it. We have to create some test beds."

Business Insider adds: "Google is doing what it can to address these problems. When a Google car encounters new street signs and lights, it sends feedback to update the mapping software."

But let's not forget the vehicle's external challenges, like, you know, the law. (Video via Google)

In Google's home state of California, the DMV just introduced new safety regulations requiring every car to have a steering wheel.

Meaning the auto you see here likely won't be the exact version Californians will see someday.

And if it can't take the weather, it's probably not the one you'll see on the roads anywhere else, either.

This story includes images from Getty Images / Justin Sullivan.

Published: Mon, 01 Sep 2014 18:26:06 -0400

Can you train your brain to eat healthy?

If only kale tasted like Oreos, right? Well, new research says you might be able to train your brain to eventually crave the healthy foods you don't like. 

According to a study published in the journal Nutrition & Diabetes, a solution might be conditioning and an increased consumption of low-calorie, high-fiber foods. You could eventually be searching for more spinach and fewer sweets. (Video via Allrecipes)

Researchers looked at the brain activity of overweight individuals, some of whom underwent a diet program that included behavioral intervention. After six months, the researchers say those in the diet program responded more positively when shown photos of low caloric foods than those not in the program.

As the study's author explains in a news release: "We don't start out in life loving French fries and hating, for example, whole wheat pasta. ... This conditioning happens over time in response to eating – repeatedly! - what is out there in the toxic food environment."

This idea of training your brain has been explored before. One other recent study suggests even portion control plays a large part in changing eating habits.

One medical expert equates junk food to drugs. She tells CBS the simple carbohydrates in processed foods trigger the same pleasure center in the brain as cocaine and heroine, causing you to come back for more.

The authors also say this conditioning would be more beneficial than, say, gastric bypass surgery, which causes people to eat less food in general rather than learn to love healthy food. (Video via Mayo Clinic)

So, the good news is, it seems you may be able to kick unhealthy cravings to the curb. But scientists warn this study is small — just 13 participants. They also don't know if the same effects would be observed in the long-term.

​​This video includes images from Getty Images / Sean Gallup​, Mauro Cateb / CC BY SA 3.0 and Media Cookery / CC BY NC ND 2.0.

 

Published: Mon, 01 Sep 2014 18:16:23 -0400

Woman raped uptown this weekend, police looking for suspect

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are still looking for a suspect after a woman said she was raped in the heart of Uptown this weekend.

The victim spoke to Channel 9 because she said she does not want this to happen to anyone else.

The 47-year-old woman was still shaken Monday. She says she was raped early Saturday morning in Uptown.

"It doesn't seem real, no. When I look at my face obviously and my tooth being gone, yeah I know it is real," the woman said.  She didn't want us to reveal her name or face, but Channel 9 saw the bloody scars and missing tooth she described.

The woman said she was having drinks at Tilt on Trade Street with her boyfriend. After they had an argument, she said she decided to walk home alone. She said she was several blocks away when she says she was suddenly pushed to the ground and raped in an alley.

"It seemed like forever but in reality probably 15 minutes, 10 or 15," the woman said.
 
She said the man told her, "This is what you get for walking alone."

CMPD investigators say the incident happened near the intersection of East 3rd and South College streets in the heart of Uptown, an area in which the victim said she used to always feel safe.

"Do I feel safe now? I don't know. I haven't been out since," the victim said.  

And she says she'll never walk alone again. She says somehow, she found the strength to run away.

"Adrenaline, it comes out of you. You don't know where you got it from because I still don't know where I got it from," she said. 

Now she hopes others will be more cautious, too.

The victim said she gave police a description of the suspect. Police say they are actively looking for that person. 

CMPD also says crimes like this one are rare in that area. 

Channel 9 searched within a 0.2 mile radius of where this happened on South College Street, and in the last month there were four assaults, one strong-arm robbery and a few other minor crimes but no rapes.

Published: Mon, 01 Sep 2014 17:28:39 -0400

Task force works to change CMS bell schedule

Channel 9 is getting a first look at proposals the parent-run School Time Task Force will present to Charlotte-Mecklenburg school leaders Tuesday. One of the recommendations includes a later start time for high school students.

The task force says it planned to make that recommendation even before the American Academy of Pediatrics released a study about the benefits of a later start time last week.

Susan Plaza is a former CMS teacher and mom to three young CMS students.

Since 2011 she's been working to change the districts' bell schedules, which were initially changed to save transportation money.

"We're hoping to change start times for every student in CMS to a more beneficial, biologically developmentally sound time for everybody," Plaza said. 

That includes pushing for later start times for high school students. Last week, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended "middle and high school students delay the start of class to 8:30 a.m. or later."

Right now, 22 CMS high schools start at 7:15 each morning, according to the CMS 2014-2015 bell schedule. 

The AAP says teens' natural sleep cycles make it hard for them to fall asleep before 11 p.m. and an early start time means they're not getting enough sleep, which the AAP says contributes to "Physical and mental health problems."  

"I think we can do more for them than we're doing," Plaza said. 

Based on this survey last year, 25 percent of CMS parents and 51 percent of CMS staff responded, Plaza said the task force has three goals: Move high schools to a later start time, give elementary school teachers back some of their planning time and eliminate the 4:15 dismissal time.

Plaza says any changes would cost the district because more buses may be required. Her group is looking at ways to eliminate extra cost, especially in transportation.

The task force will present its proposals to district leaders, including Superintendent Heath Morrison, Tuesday morning. Morrison told Channel 9 last week, later start times for high schoolers is something he'd consider. The task force says its goal is to implement the new schedules for the 2015-2016 school year.

Published: Mon, 01 Sep 2014 16:56:12 -0400

Arrest made after man fired shots outside laundromat

Police in Gastonia have arrested a man who fired several shots outside a laundromat, apparently hitting one person and frightening many others Monday morning.

Jerecos Markeve Byers, 25, turned himself in on Monday afternoon.

He has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to seriously injure, which is a felony.

Michael Peterson works at a Family Dollar store directly across Davis Park Road from the laundromat.

“A little girl came in and said there's a man outside with a gun," Peterson said.

Peterson said the trouble had spilled over from the other parking lot, but the manager didn't wait to ask questions before acting.

"My other manager immediately came, saw what was going on, locked the doors, and took all the customers that were in the building at the time to our office, which is in the very back corner over here," Peterson said.

The customers and store employees stayed in the office until police arrived but by then the suspected shooter and some of the crowd had scattered.

But less than an hour later a man with a gunshot wound showed up at the Kings Mountain Hospital. A family member told Eyewitness News he would be fine, but she did not want to discuss the details of the shooting--including what may have sparked it.

Gastonia police had two officers at the hospital and were investigating the case late Monday afternoon but did not return calls for information about the incident.

Published: Mon, 01 Sep 2014 16:24:46 -0400

Gastonia FD: Man has ‘major injuries’ after fall at Crowders Mountain

The Gastonia Fire Department said a man in his late 20s fell approximately 15 to 20 feet at Crowders Mountain on Monday.

The victim was rock climbing on the training wall. He has major injuries, but nothing critical, according to the fire department.

Check back with wsoctv.com for updates.

Published: Mon, 01 Sep 2014 14:53:27 -0400

Melting ice shelves drive rapid Antarctic sea level rise

A study more than 20 years in the making reports a rapid rise in Antarctic sea levels. The cause? Melting ice shelves. 

That's an especially big deal for a continent covered in ice, and the scientists say the fact the glacial melt produces fresh water is significant. (Video via Discovery)

The study was published in the journal Nature and reports, "​On the basis of the model simulations, we conclude that this sea-level rise is almost entirely related to steric adjustment," or chemical changes, "rather than changes in local ocean mass."

Basically, because fresh water is less dense than salt water, when it pours into the ocean surrounding Antarctica, it produces a dramatic rise in the sea levels around the continent. The melting freshwater ice shelves are raising sea levels.

The study also discounted other possible explanations for the rising sea levels like wind pushing water against the ice shelves, as lead scientist Dr. Craig Rye told the BBC

"We can estimate the amount of water that wind is pushing on to the continental shelf, and show with some certainty that it is very unlikely that this wind forcing is causing the sea level rise."

As Deutsche Welle reports, another unrelated study on Antarctic ice published in mid-August forecasted Antarctic ice melt will soon become a big threat. A researcher told the outlet, "Ice loss in the Antarctic could become the biggest contributor much earlier than expected, raising global sea level further by up to [about 15 inches] by the end of this century."

And just a few months before that researchers found a separate cause of the increasing melt — wind currents pushing warm water underneath the ice.

ABC AUSTRALIA: "Warm water melts ice much faster than warm air, and the research reveals subsurface warming at twice the rate previously thought."

It didn't take long for at least one outlet to see the consequences, as Bloomberg highlighted the risk the rising water poses to megacities such as New York and Shanghai. 

The lead scientist on this latest study also told the BBC the next target for research is why, throughout all of this, sea ice around the Antarctic appears to be increasing. 

This video includes an image from Getty Images.

Published: Mon, 01 Sep 2014 14:49:57 -0400

Why is Gov. Pat Quinn living off minimum wage for a week?

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn is taking on a challenge of sorts just two months ahead of the midterm elections.

"He's challenging himself to spend no more than $79 on food and other recreational expenses this week."

He's living on Illinois' minimum wage, which is $8.25 an hour, and $79 is the amount he says someone living on minimum wage has left over after expenses such as taxes and housing. This is ahead of a November referendum that would increase the state's minimum wage to $10 per hour.

​The governor, who WFLD reports made $177,000 last year, has been supporting an increase in the minimum wage. Other Democrats who also support this cause include Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Vice President Joe Biden and President Obama.

BARACK OBAMA: "In America today, no one who works full time should have to raise a family in poverty."

But what's Quinn's true motivation? He announced his minimum wage experiment at a campaign event, and the politically skeptical might argue there's something more here than raising awareness. Just two months from now, Quinn is up for re-election in what's expected to be a tough fight.

The Chicago Sun-Times cited a recent poll that found about 38 percent of voters in Illinois support Quinn for re-election while nearly 51 percent of voters say they support his Republican challenger. Eleven percent of voters remain undecided.

And the headlines have been less than flattering for Quinn. Last year, The New York Times called Quinn one of the most unpopular governors in the country and said he was vulnerable for his re-election bid, while WMAQ described him as the state's "embattled" governor earlier this year.

Raising the minimum wage is a battle Democrats nationwide are waging against their GOP opponents.  

The federal minimum wage hasn't budged since 2009, so it's an issue that resonates with at least some voters.

Gallup's poll late last year found 76 percent would vote for a hike.

Quinn's Republican opponent, Bruce Rauner, says he also supports an increase in the state's minimum wage, but Rauner says it can only be done with "pro-business reforms." (Via WBBM)

The Chicago Tribune was there as Rauner said those reforms would include tort reform, worker's compensation reform and a cut in taxes for businesses. He hasn't specifically said how he'll vote on this November's referendum.

But critics say an increase in the minimum wage could force layoffs from employers that can't support a higher cost of doing business. If Quinn loses this November, it will mark the first time a Democrat has not lived at the governor's mansion in Springfield since 2003.

Published: Mon, 01 Sep 2014 14:49:24 -0400

More than 7,500 sign petition to keep NC film incentives

A local petition calling on North Carolina lawmakers to keep the state's film incentive program has already received more than 7,500 signatures.

Mike King doesn't work in film, but he believes other industries will also suffer if state incentives for film production are cut.

“They should have incentives to bring businesses here. I can't believe they got rid of them,” King said.

RELATED: Itemized list of what NC spent in tax incentives for 2013

Right now, the state gives any production company a 25 percent tax credit to film in North Carolina. That program is set to expire at the end of this year. It's a decision that supporters of the "Keep North Carolina Film Incentives" petition hope to reverse.

The petition says, in part, "Without incentives, productions quickly find other states that are more receptive to hosting the business."

As Channel 9 previously reported, the State Department of Revenue estimated film companies spent an average of $236 million on projects in North Carolina from 2011- 2013.

Channel 9 called the creator of this petition. He didn't return our phone calls but people we spoke with in Charlotte had a lot to say.

"You think back to 20 to 30 years ago, this city wasn't even recognized. A lot of people didn't even know where Charlotte was," said Norman Patton.

Alastir Swan added, "It brings a lot of tourism to the state -- you get to see where Hunger Games was filmed and stuff like that."

Next year, the state has budgeted $10 million in grants for film production.

In 2013, the state gave just over $61 million in tax credits to production companies.

Channel 9 also called and emailed Gov. Pat McCrory's office for comment. So far we have not heard back.

Published: Mon, 01 Sep 2014 13:28:43 -0400

Masked men rob Food Lion at gunpoint, pistol whip manager

Monroe police are looking for two men they said pistol whipped a grocery store manager and robbed the store's safe.

Police said the suspects attacked the assistant store manager from behind as he was unlocking the doors at the Food Lion on Sunset Drive early Sunday morning.

Investigators said the men then forced the manager to the service desk; pistol whipped him and emptied the safe.

"They were both dressed in all black and they both had on ski masks, so their facial features could not be identified," said Lt. Joe Plyler.

Detectives said one of the suspects was wearing sneakers with a distinctive design, and they are now releasing a surveillance picture in hopes someone will recognize the man's shoes.

The assistant manager was treated at CMC Union after police said the suspects rendered him unconscious during the assault.

"That's terrible...that's a terrible thing, " said customer Dennis McIlwain.

Other customers were frigthened by the violence at their regular shopping destination.

"It's scary, I was like, you don't never get nothing like that around here," said Rebecca Couick.

Anyone with information should call Det. Morgan Malone at 704-282-4712 or Crimestoppers at 704-283-5600.

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Published: Mon, 01 Sep 2014 11:09:53 -0400

2 children die when boat capsizes on Lake Hartwell

(AP) Authorities say a 9-year-old child and a 5-month-old child have died after a boat capsized on Lake Hartwell.

Anderson County Coroner Greg Shore told local media outlets that the older child was pulled from the water and could not be resuscitated, while divers found the younger child about four hours after the boat flipped.

Department of Natural Resources spokesman Robert McCullough says the pontoon boat was pulling into a dock on the lake near Interstate 85 around 8:30 p.m. Sunday when it turned over. Witnesses say there were about a dozen people on board.

McCullough says DNR agents are investigating the crash and no charges have been filed.

Published: Mon, 01 Sep 2014 11:06:41 -0400

Kraft recalls some cheese products

With school back in full swing, Kraft has recalled a popular cheese in the kids lunchboxes. 

According to the Food and Drug Administration, the company is voluntarily recalling almost 7,700 cases of Kraft American Singles. 
 

Here are a list of the items being recalled

1. 12oz. Kraft American Singles, 16 slice package,

Best when used by February 20, 2015 and February 21, 2015. 
Package code 0 21000 60464 7

2. 16oz. Kraft American Singles, 24 slice package

Best when used by February 20, 2015
Package code 0 21000 61526 1

3. 64oz. Kraft American Singles

Best when used by February 20, 2015
Package code 0 21000 63360 9

 

The FDA reported no other Kraft Singles are impacted by the recall.

A supplier for the company reportedly did not store an ingredient at Kraft's temperature standards.  It could lead to the food going bad quicker than expected.

Published: Mon, 01 Sep 2014 08:12:24 -0400

Hundreds expected at uptown Labor Day parade

Hundreds of people are expected to be in uptown Charlotte for the Labor Day Parade Monday morning.

The parade features step groups, bands, politicians and labor union floats.

It starts at 11 a.m. at the Hal Marshall Center. The parade route winds down Tryon Street to Third Street and ends at College Street.

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Published: Mon, 01 Sep 2014 07:43:19 -0400

Armed guard arrested for shooting after Lil Wayne concert

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police arrested a security guard after they said he fired shots at a man in a car near the PNC Music Pavilion after a Lil Wayne concert this weekend.

Police said the armed guard, Michael McCoy, confronted Juan Escobar -- who witnesses said was trying to break into a car.

Officers told Channel 9 that McCoy fired two shots after Escobar nearly hit him with a car. They said Escobar drove onto sidewalks packed with people from the concert.

CMPD arrested Escobar as well and charged him with assault and reckless driving.

McCoy was charged because police said he fired the second shot at the car while it was no longer posing an imminent threat.

The incident comes just a little more than a year after someone stabbed a man to death in the parking lot outside the same venue after another Lil Wayne concert.

Police said the victim in that case was defending his girlfriend against a group of male concert-goers.

No arrests were ever made.

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Published: Mon, 01 Sep 2014 07:23:19 -0400

Busy Shelby road partially reopens after DUI crash

A busy road in Shelby partially reopened around noon Monday after an overnight crash knocked down power lines.

Troopers said 18-year-old Zachary Bowling was driving drunk when he passed out and crashed into a utility pole on Highway 180 near Highway 18 around 3 a.m.

They said after the crash, Bowling then left the scene.

Troopers found him a few miles away and arrested him. Paramedics took a passenger in that car to the hospital but he is expected to be OK.

Utility crews had Highway 180 closed in both directions for most of the morning. To get onto Highway 18 from 180 drivers are being told to take New Prospect Church Road or Alree Drive to Saunders Road.

Motorists traveling south on 18 can do the opposite and take Saunders to Arlee or New Prospect Church.

Check back with wsoctv.com for updates on this developing story.

Published: Mon, 01 Sep 2014 07:14:52 -0400

WATCH: Fisherman shocked after snagging gator in NC lake

A North Carolina fisherman was in for the surprise of his life after he thought he was reeling in a large mouth bass at a lake this weekend, only to find that what was on the end of his line was a 5-foot long alligator.

He captured video of his catch as he reeled the gator to shore at Falls Lake, near Raleigh.

LOOK: Viewer send in pictures of alligator on Lake Wylie

He kept the gator on the line as he called wildlife officers, but it broke loose before they arrived.

WATCH: Fisherman reels in gator at N.C. lake

“When I realized I had something different is the weight of it and the way it grabbed it. I caught whatever it was, and that's when I come to realize, reeling it in, it was an alligator,” said Stephen Rhodes.

Experts say it’s unusual to find alligators that far north and inland. Last month, Channel 9 reported on sightings of an alligator spotted at Lake Wylie. A man and his son saw the 2-foot-long reptile near Copperhead Island while kayaking.

A wildlife biologist told Channel 9 it was likely captured illegally as a baby and dropped into the lake when it became too big.

Published: Mon, 01 Sep 2014 06:09:03 -0400