Deputies restrain gator near school

Sept. 14, 2010 at 2:39 PM
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OLDSMAR, Fla., Sept. 14 (UPI) -- Sheriff's deputies used rope, electrical tape and handcuffs to restrain an alligator spotted near a Florida elementary school, authorities said.

Pinellas County sheriff's deputies said they were called to Forest Lakes Elementary School in Oldsmar Monday by a crossing guard who spotted the 7-foot reptile against a wall near the school while children were arriving in the morning, the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times reported Tuesday.

Deputies said they called a wildlife trapper but were forced to take action themselves when the gator walked toward an intersection where children were crossing on their way to the school.

Deputies Jeffrey Crandall, Michael Bard and Richard Serra Jr. said they were able to get a rope around the gator's neck and tail. They said they were then able to secure its hind legs with handcuffs and keep its mouth shut using electrical tape.

The deputies said the animal was turned over to officers from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission until the trapper arrived.

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