HIGH SPRINGS – High Springs Police officers had their hands full this three-day Memorial weekend with everything from multiple arrests, traffic stops, an alcohol-related accident and an alligator holding up traffic on U.S. Highway 441.
“It was busy, that's for sure,” said Lt. Antoine Sheppard.
The High Springs Police Department (HSPD) deployed additional officers during the weekend in anticipation of a busy holiday. “Gilchrist and Alachua County Sheriff's officers also assisted in traffic enforcement along County Road 340,” said Sheppard.
HSPD conducted more than 118 traffic stops over the course of the holiday weekend, netting eight arrests. Charges ranged from drug-related issues to administration of active arrest warrants.
With all the excitement and traffic in the area, the item that garnered the most attention was a video and photos posted on the HSPD's Facebook page of a young alligator feasting on a dead deer by the side of U.S. Highway 441 near Bev's Better Burgers.
“This thing has gone viral,” said Sheppard. “We have had a lot more hits and comments than ever before since we uploaded the videos and photos of the incident,” said Sheppard. “It has also been picked up by WJXT Channel 4 in Jacksonville.”
The incident occurred Monday when a juvenile alligator meandered over to the dead animal along the highway. Cars stopped as the alligator crossed the road.
With assistance from the Florida Wildlife Commission, HSPD officers were able to safely capture the loose alligator as it was becoming a hazard. The gator was moved and relocated to a safe area away from the public.
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