When Pasco County, Fla. Deputy Fredric Vetter was informed that a Florida Wildlife Commission trapper wasn’t immediately available to capture and remove a 7-foot, 8-inch alligator posing a definite safety hazard in a Port Richey subdivision early yesterday morning, he figured he’d have to deal with the big reptile himself.
But that was OK with the deputy. He’s had plenty of experience with gators in South Florida.
The unofficial gator trapper for the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office even carries his own personal pole and cable device used to restrain the animals until their legs can be secured with ropes and their dangerous jaws wrapped with duct tape.
The Tampa Tribune reports that while two accompanying deputies used the poker stick to lasso the gator and held it, Vetter jumped on its back, worked his way up to the head, pulled it back, flipped it over and quickly taped its mouth.
Then, in a maneuver that’s never made it on the “Cops” television show, he secured the 250-pound gator’s front legs utilizing his department handcuffs.
They don’t teach that at the police academy!
The three lawmen used rope to fully secure the big critter’s legs and to serve as a handle to help them heave the beast into the back seat of Vetter’s patrol car.
Vetter then transported his catch to a pre-arranged location, where FWC trapper Kylan Fitzpatrick took custody of the culprit. (Watch the video of the exchange here.)
The deputy told a local television reporter that he couldn’t recall transporting a detainee that filled his back seat as completely as did yesterday’s prisoner.
“What happened was we had to roll the window down. The actual tail came out…through the window,” the deputy said.
How did it compare with other passengers he’s chauffeured in the past?
“I’ve had a lot worse people in my back seat than that alligator,” he admitted.