Large, sunbathing alligator blocks traffic on Louisiana interstate

DESOTO PARISH, La. — Spring is here, the time is right, for sunbathing in the street -- especially for an alligator.

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A 10-foot alligator caused a commotion on a Louisiana interstate on Friday, blocking traffic while catching some rays.

The DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office put the delay into proper perspective with several humorous posts on its Facebook page. At around 8:15 a.m. CDT, the sheriff’s office began receiving calls regarding the “suspect blocking the southbound lanes of Interstate 49, KATC-TV reported.

The sheriff’s office said the interstate was blocked near the Natchitoches Parish line, KSLA-TV reported.

Originally, the only concern for residents was that the person who told the public about the blocked highway “completely botched” the spelling of “Natchitoches” and “sunbathe,” the sheriff’s office wrote.

“Several citizens spoke up in outrage, and the information was corrected,” the post stated.

Sgt. Michael Dunn made contact with the suspect, “who appeared (to be) under the influence of an illegal substance,” according to the sheriff’s office.

After several failed field sobriety tests, Dunn was able to persuade the suspect, identified as “Al E. Gator,” 39, (”male or female, we don’t know,” the sheriff’s office said) to move to the side of the road, according to the Facebook post.

Dunn identified a plastic baggie the reptile was possessing and began to chase the wayward alligator.

“The suspect was later located and detained at the scene in a nearby creek bed,” the sheriff’s office wrote. One photograph taken by the sheriff’s office included a small “baggie” that may have been litter in the area. But the sheriff’s office had more fun with it.

The rogue reptile was taken to the DeSoto Detention Center to be booked on charges of obstruction of a public roadway, possession of Schedule II narcotics (methamphetamine) with intent to distribute, aggravated flight from an officer and terrorism, the sheriff’s office wrote on Facebook.

It was all in fun, of course -- the charges, that is.

Warden Billy Cotton would not accept the gator into the facility and “was last seen running down Polk Street barefoot.”

According to another Facebook post, the sheriff’s office said that Dunn claimed that “he personally picked up the alligator with his bare hands, carried it on his back, and got him out of the roadway.”

“We asked for proof and this is all he sent back” -- more photographs.

The citizen who botched the parish name “has been reprimanded for his grammar mistakes by both administration and by the City of Nackitish,” the sheriff’s office said.