One angry alligator eludes capture for 40 minutes in a Seminole neighborhood

Gator caught near in 92-year-old's driveway

SEMINOLE, Fla. - An angry alligator, 8 feet and 8 inches long, avoided capture for about 40 minutes early Tuesday morning in a Seminole neighborhood.

The 200-pound gator was first spotted in the yard of a house on Parkwood Boulevard.

Pinellas County deputies attempted to corner it until a wildlife trapper could arrive, but the creature was not up for that. Instead the alligator began roaming the neighborhood with deputies trailing behind it.

Eventually the men were able to get two lines wrapped around the gator. The deputies then tied the ropes to a fire hydrant and a light pole to keep it from wandering away.

The aggressive alligator wasn't done making trouble. While trapper Jon Wilson was sitting on the animal's back preparing to rope its legs, the gator did an instinctive death spiral, nearly knocking Wilson onto his side.

Diane Bertolami lives nearby and watched it all.  "Hissing and making noises," she said. "Once they got the lasso on him he got a little aggressive and started thrashing and rolling like they do."

Eventually, Wilson was able to corral the alligator, and with help from deputies, the creature was put into the back of his truck.

That final effort occurred in 92-year-old Hildegard Danning's driveway.

"They caught this here?" she said.

Danning heard the racket last night, but thought it was just her noisy neighbors, so she stayed inside.

She admits gators are very common in her neighborhood and she's not scared of them. She typically sees them in the canal behind her house, where she's perfected her technique at scaring them away.

"Flower pots," she explained. "[You throw it at them] and you shoosh them away."

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