Police ‘handcuff’ nine-foot alligator on Florida street

In what would be an unusual incident pretty much anywhere else in the world, police officers in Florida “handcuffed” an alligator found roaming down a street in Tampa.

Responding to a call regarding a disturbance in a commercial district on Wednesday night, officers found a nine-foot-long alligator roaming down a street near the Raymond James Stadium, home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

When an officer first approached the animal with a baton, it hissed and whipped its tail about in front of a crowd of spectators and about half a dozen other officers, CBS News reported.

Bodycam footage released by Tampa Police Department and news local news footage shows how the arrest and detention of the alligator unfolded.

First, an officer made a noose from a yellow rope and lassoed the animal’s mouth. Then, after readying themselves, two officers jumped the alligator.

With one officer attending to the creature’s head with outstretched hands, another weighed down the body, calling over a third to help.

A towel was used to cover the alligator’s eyes and duct tape was used to keep its mouth shut.

The tape was also used to hold together its legs to immobilise it. As one officer said: “Behind his back, like you’re handcuffing him.”

Once secured, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission was called in to collect the animal and take him to “find a more suitable home”.

Phil Waters, an alligator trapper contracted with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Nuisance Alligator Program, who arrived on the scene after the animal was subdued, said in a Facebook post: “I think TPD is attempting to put me out of work.”

“Usually TPD does not normally wrangle something that stinky and slimy,” he added.

The timely police response at around 1am ensured no passing people or motorists were endangered.