Photo courtesy of Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.
After a crossing guard spotting an alligator laying along a wall near an elementary school earlier today, Pinellas County (Fla.) Sheriff's deputies arrived and eventually handcuffed the animal, the agency announced.
Denise Leone, a Pinellas County Sheriff's crossing guard, spotted the gator at 6:53 a.m. alongside a wall separating the Preserves at Cypress Lakes subdivision from the sidewalk of Forest Lakes Boulevard on the east side of Forest Lakes Elementary School. Children would soon be walking nearby on their way to school.
When deputies arrived, the alligator hasn't moved, so they called for a trapper and monitored the gator. Before the trapper could arrive, the gator began walking southbound along the Forest Lakes Boulevard sidewalk toward the intersection of Pine Avenue where children were crossing the street.
With the trapper still an hour away, deputies Jeffrey Crandall, Michael Bard and Richard Serra Jr. worked together to get a rope around the gator's neck and tail. The 7 1/2-foot gator then violently rolled several times, hitting the wall and breaking off chunks of stucco. Once the gator stopped rolling, the deputies were able to secure its mouth with electrical tape and it's hind legs with handcuffs.
They called the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which sent officers to take custody of the gator until the trapper arrived.