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Fla. deputy’s reaction to alligator captured in pool has people talking

“OK folks we need some help captioning this one,” Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey wrote of a photo of Deputy Robert Santiago holding a rope tied to the gator


Photo/Brevard County Sheriff’s Office

By Mark Price
The Charlotte Observer

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — A 7-foot, 6-inch alligator showed up in a Florida woman’s swimming pool, but it’s a photo of the responding deputy that is getting all of the attention on social media.

The image, shared April 4 by the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, shows Deputy Robert Santiago wide-eyed and slack-jawed as he holds a rope tied to the gator.

“Ok folks we need some help captioning this one,” Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey wrote on Facebook.

“When working as a deputy sheriff for the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office there is never a dull moment!! Just ask Deputy Robert Santiago. ... I would love to know exactly what Deputy Santiago was thinking but I’m pretty sure it was …’I didn’t sign up for this!’”

The photo was taken at a home on Silver Lake Drive in Melbourne, after a woman called the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission to report an alligator in her pool. Melbourne is about 70 miles southeast of Orlando.

Wildlife trapper Scott Swartley was sent to catch the alligator and the photo was taken at the moment Swartley and Santiago tugged it out of the water.

Hundreds of commenters have responded, including some who questioned whether a gator in a pool was any tougher than students on spring break. Others made jokes about Santiago needing a bigger patrol car.

“You want me to hold what?” Lisa Ford posted.

“I’m going to need to go home and change my uniform!” Jessica Hatina Reed posted.

‘You want me to perform CPR!?” Rebecca Middleton wrote.

“What we have here is a failure to domesticate,” Eddie Chan said.

The discovery of the alligator comes during courtship season for the species in Florida. “Courtship begins in early April, and mating occurs in May or June,” the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says.

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