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Posted: 5/7/2003 9:08:08 PM EDT

POSTED: 8:09 a.m. EDT May 6, 2003
UPDATED: 10:47 a.m. EDT May 6, 2003

HOUSTON -- He looked mean -- but he wasn't ready for a fight. Authorities had to carry away an unwelcome guest from a military recruiting office in Houston Monday.

Houston police lassoed a stray alligator Monday that was blocking the entrance of the building.

The gator was discovered at about 10 a.m. at the front doors of the Texas National Army Guard recruiting office in southwest Houston.

Police said that the three officers carried the 4-foot alligator away from the building after they tied a rope around its jaws and secured it with a belt.

But the gator still managed to snap at one of the officers.

"When we went to put the belt around its snout to keep him from clamping down on us, he reached out (and) caught the insole of my shoe, which kept his attention away from me just long enough to get the belt around his neck," Officer Ron Martin said.

The gator was released about 50 yards from the building's entrance into the Barker Reservoir.

Martin and the officers did not want a repeat performance of a 9-foot alligator captured in Katy last week that made national headlines.

"The officers did very good. I saw the one on the news last week," Texas Army National Guard Sgt. Doug Waldridge said. "I was pretty disappointed at the way that was handled, but these guys did a good job."

A game warden was trying help a Katy, Texas, neighborhood on April 24, but instead angered them after he dragged a 9-foot alligator out of their community, and then killed it, authorities said.

Witnesses recorded the gator's capture on videotape, in which the game warden was seen tying the animal to the back of his pickup, and then dragging it down the street while children and parents watched.

The game warden then took the alligator to the end of the street, and shot and killed it, authorities said.

But this latest gator tale has a happy ending. Police say no one was hurt and the reptile was released into a nearby reservoir.
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