OLDSMAR — As children began arriving to Forest Lakes Elementary School on Monday morning, a crossing guard spotted an unusual menace: A 7-foot alligator hanging out against a nearby wall.
Pinellas County sheriff's deputies say they responded to the scene and called a wildlife trapper to come catch the gator. But the trapper was still an hour away when the gator began walking southbound along the sidewalk of Forest Lakes Boulevard toward the intersection of Pine Avenue — where children were also crossing the street to school.
Deputies Jeffrey Crandall, Michael Bard and Richard Serra Jr. worked together to get a rope around the gator's neck and tail. The gator violently rolled several times, thrashing and hitting the wall, breaking off chunks of stucco, officials said.
Once the gator stopped rolling, the deputies were able to secure the mouth with electrical tape and secure its hind legs with handcuffs.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission also responded and took custody of the gator until the trapper arrived, deputies said.