Close Encounters Man vs. Nature

Sheriff’s deputy wrestles, subdues unruly alligator

Florida wildlife official advises not to do what Jeff Crandall did

second gator photo  2

A sheriff’s deputy didn’t bother to wait for a trained alligator trapper to deal with an unruly alligator that was snapping at cars near a dentist’s office in Oldsmar, Florida. Nope, Pinellas County Deputy Jeff Crandall decided to take action himself, since the animal was heading toward the roadway.

According to numerous reports, Crandall grabbed a rope from his trunk, lassoed the gator’s neck, jumped on its back and taped its huge mouth shut—exactly what wildlife officials tell you not to do.

Nevertheless, photos of Crocodile Crandall atop the alligator are priceless, even if his actions were ill-advised. Fox 13 in Tampa has a report:

A 911 call alerted officials to the problem gator early Tuesday morning. Crandall, a 30-year squad veteran, was the first to respond. He subdued the gator and, with the help of a backup deputy, tied it up and put it in the back of the truck.

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Nobody, not even a sheriff’s deputy with past experience dealing with alligators, should attempt to do this, a wildlife official told the Tampa Bay Times.

“Unless it’s an absolutely necessity, we advise sheriff’s deputies to wait until we get there in these situations,” Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Gary Morse told the Tampa Bay Times. “Large, powerful animals like that are always dangerous.”

Apparently, Crandall, who declined to be interviewed by the Times, has dealt with alligators before. The Times said he subdued an unruly alligator outside Oldsmar’s Forest Lakes Elementary School.

Unfortunately for this recent gator, after meeting its match in Crandall, it will now be put down.

alligator and cop courtesy of pinellas county sheriff's office

 

Photos of Crandall atop alligator courtesy of Pinellas County Sheriff’s Department. Photo of alligator in truck is a screengrab from report by WTSP News 10, Tampa