VIDEO: Cops cuff 8-foot gator

1:40 PM, Jun 2, 2010   |    comments
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Palm Harbor, FL-- Law enforcement officers deal with suspects of all shapes and sizes, but on Monday night a Pinellas County Sheriff's deputy made an arrest he'll never forget.     

Around 8:00 p.m. Monday, Lt. Richard Nalvin responded to a call of a wandering alligator in the Ridgemoor area of Palm Harbor.

"He was laying on the sidewalk when I first got here. Then he stood up and was walking on the sidewalk," said Lt. Nalvin.

A crowd of bystanders watched from a distance as the gator proceeded down the sidewalk.

Photo Gallery: Neighbors tie up gator

"It was kinda funny to some degree, but quite dangerous at the same time," said Lt. Nalvin, who immediately jumped into action using a homemade device to begin capturing the 8-foot gator.

"He was feisty and that was a little problematic."

With help from retired deputy and Citizen's Patrol Volunteer, Lt. Nalvin managed to get the gator tied to a tree and eventually even handcuffed.

"He was cuffed, essentially under arrest."

Neighborhood residents say the gator was getting too comfortable around humans, often venturing away from an area lake and towards a school bus stop where children wait before school.

Susanne Webb was among the neighborhood residents watching as the gator was "arrested" Monday night.

"To be honest, I don't know how he did it, but he did a fantastic job. He was very, very brave," said Webb, who lives two doors down from where the gator was caught.

While some residents were relived to have the gator gone, others were worried about the animal's future.

A local trapper, who eventually came to pick the gator up, says because of the animal's size, it will be sold and harvested for its meat and skin.

Beau Zimmer, 10 Connects

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