09/13/2010

Fla. deputies handcuff 7-foot gator near school

A crossing guard spotted the gator lounging near an elementary school

Associated Press

OLDSMAR, Fla. — Deputies in Florida had to handcuff a rather unusual suspect — a 7-foot-long alligator.

A crossing guard at a Tampa-area school spotted the gator lounging near an elementary school Monday morning around the time children would be walking to school.

As she and three deputies waited for a trapper to arrive, the alligator started walking toward the children. Three deputies roped the gator's neck and tail as the animal rolled and thrashed. Its tail broke off chunks of stucco from a nearby wall.

Deputies later secured the gator's mouth with electrical tape and handcuffed its hind legs. Florida Fish and Wildlife officials took custody of the animal until the trapper arrived.

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