To the delight of onlookers, cops apprehended the gator that crawled out of an overflowing storm drain and hunkered down beneath a parked car.
“That’s the craziest thing I’ve ever seen,” marvelled Elizabeth Ferguson, 25, who has lived on the block for three years. “He was really small, but mean looking.”
Although the police could not verify onlookers’ claims that the animal crawled from the sewers — a big-city myth that inspired the 1980 B-movie “Alligator,” and others — but were baffled as to where it came from.
“It’s a big mystery,” said police spokesman Officer James Duffy. “It could have been dumped from a car or it could have come out of a sewer.”
The police Emergency Service Unit lassoed the animal and bound its snout with tape. The caged gator was kept at the 114th Precinct until it was picked up by Animal Care & Control.
A spokesman for animal control said the alligator would be taken to a licensed rehabilitator or reptile sanctuary.
Some experts have called the city’s sewer system a “natural swamp” warm enough to attract gators, but few think they could survive for very long.