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Video shows officers "handcuffing" 9-foot alligator in Tampa street

Tampa police officers were called to a commercial part of town because of a disturbance, but it wasn't a public brawl or anyone behaving in a disorderly manner. It was a 9-foot alligator Wednesday night ambling down a street not far from Raymond James Stadium, home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The gator whipped its tail several times and hissed when an officer first approached it, poking with an outstretched baton. A half dozen officers along with a crowd of spectators watched as lights from squad cars flashed on the blocked off street, according to bodycam video released by the Tampa Police Department.

See You Later, Alligator...... by TampaPD on YouTube

The officer then fashioned a noose from a yellow rope and lassoed it around the top of the gator's mouth.

"Ready?" one of the officers said. "You want to jump on him?"

And that's what they did, as one officer went for the head with outstretched hands and another officer weighed down the rest of the alligator's body. A third officer was recruited to help weigh the gator down.

The officer keeping the gator's mouth shut asked his colleagues for a towel to cover its eyes and some duct tape to wrap its mouth. They also taped together the gator's legs. "Behind his back, like you're handcuffing him," an officer said.

The police department said the gator was taken for a ride by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to "find a more suitable home."

Phil Walters, an alligator trapper contracted with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Nuisance Alligator Program who was called in to assist the officers, said he was impressed with the job done by Tampa's finest before he arrived at the scene.

Early Morning Wrong Way Crawler Draws Large Police Presents March 29, 2023 Tampa, FL 1am A smelly, scaly, cold blooded...

Posted by Phil Walters on Tuesday, March 28, 2023

According to a Facebook post from Walters, law enforcement arrived on scene before any drivers were injured.

By the time Walters got to the scene of the large gator, police were able to wrangle it and tape its mouth shut – ultimately having four officers sitting on the animal's back.

"I think TPD is attempting to put me out of work," Walters said in a statement. "Usually TPD does not normally wrangle something that stinky & slimy."

  • Florida
  • Alligator
  • Tampa Bay

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