Housing Authority worker Jose Rivera was filling in a rat hole in Brooklyn’s Marcy Projects (childhood home of Jay-Z) last week when three of the vermin rushed out at him. So he swung his trusty pitchfork at the rats and struck the largest one. And boy, was it large.

“I hit it one time and it was still moving,” Rivera said of the beast that measures three feet including its tail. “I hit it another time and that’s when it died. I’m not scared of rats but I was scared of being bitten.”

The behemoth was identified as a Gambian pouched rat, a common pet that probably escaped from his home and joined up with the wild rats. Marcy residents say they’ve been spotting the big guy for years, and fear it has breed with the local rats to make a race of super-sized rodents.

Experts don’t think that’s likely, but don’t be surprised if there’s a run on pitchforks at Brooklyn retailers.

[via New York Daily News]