Staff Writer

ASHTABULA -- Police responding to a report of a disturbance early Tuesday at 5846 Washington Ave. discovered a variety of exotic animals, weapons and drugs.

A neighbor called police at 2 a.m. after hearing a couple arguing outside his window, according to police reports.

When Patrolman Chad Brown approached the residence, he saw two people run inside the house. However, when he and Sgt. Dennis Dibble knocked on the door, no one answered. Brown then hollered inside but got no response.

Brown and Dibble then walked into the home, where they saw a man sleeping on the couch. A pit-bull dog sat on another couch.

When police woke up the man, they realized he was "highly intoxicated," according to the report.

"He couldn't keep his balance," Dibble said. "We got him out of the residence to question him."

The man insisted no one else was in the house, even after Dibble told him he saw two people run inside. About that time, a woman and another pit-bull dog came downstairs. She said she didn't know who lived there.

Police called the dog catcher to get the dogs, which are illegal in the city.

"We made her secure the pit bulls while we found out what was going on," Dibble said. "She kept telling us nobody else was there."

In the dining room, police found a baby alligator, a piranha in an aquarium and a boa constrictor, all of which are illegal to own in the city, police reports said.

An assault rifle, a pistol, syringes and what appeared to be cocaine were uncovered in an upstairs bedroom.

As Dibble searched the home with a flashlight, he found another male hiding in the attic, who refused to come out, Dibble said.

All three people were transported to the city jail.

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