Police officers wrangle gator in Winter Haven

Polk County

Police in Winter Haven are tasked with more than fighting crime.  

On Sunday, Officer Avery, Officer Ramos and Sgt. Gregory had to round up a 5-foot gator near a home on Mandolin Boulevard.

The alligator was sitting in front of Jodi Foster’s home. The photographer by trade started filming and taking photos as officers collected supplies from neighbors and tried to lasso the alligator.

“They made a slip knot and they were able to put it around the gator’s mouth and pull it back so that’s how they were able to get it shut,” Foster said, adding that she was surprised to see the officers jump into the role.

“They were so brave like it wasn’t even funny when they got the alligator back to the water. They were like superheroes. Three superheroes,” Foster’s son Gavin said.

He watched the encounter in amazement.

“He’s always wanted to be a cop and his eyes were all big. He was loving it,” Foster said. 

Foster estimates it took around 30 minutes for officers to wrangle the gator, and the reptile was successfully relocated to a nearby pond.  

“It was one for the records and it was a great experience for my son because he just thought that was so awesome. He got to see that cops aren’t just, you know, arresting bad guys. They do so many things for the community,” Foster said.
 

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