A trip to the beach late Wednesday afternoon with their pet dwarf caiman crocodilian came to an unhappy ending for a North Hudson sister and brother.
Another visitor to the beach at the end of the dike road in Lakefront Park saw Ashley and Ian Rummel with the 18-inch caiman and called the police.
Hudson patrol officers responded and issued Ashley Rummel, 20, the owner of the reptile, an $88 city ordinance citation for disorderly conduct.
Patrol officer Hilary Lundberg told the pair the presence of the caiman was disturbing to other park users.
She said Ashley might also be cited with other violations because it is illegal to keep a caiman in captivity in Wisconsin.
Lundberg advised the Rummels to take the caiman home and not return to the St. Croix River with it.
Patrol officer James Wildman accompanied Lundberg and patrol officer Daniel Jents on the call. Wildman had seen caimans as a youth in Natchez, La., and later when he lived in Mississippi. He said they can bite with tremendous force.
Ashley Rummel said she purchased the caiman through the mail a year and a half ago from a man in Florida.
Dwarf caimans can grow to be six feet long, she said.
Wildman said larger caimans reach up to 18 feet in length.