All it takes is one illegally parked troublemaker to tie up freeway traffic — especially if it's an 8-foot alligator sprawled across the pavement.
"I don't remember any of this in the academy," police Officer Albert Silva said of the traffic jam early Sunday. "As far as I know, there's no procedure on this other than: 'Don't get bit.'"
Police car sirens didn't persuade the big reptile to budge off Loop 410.
Police threw orange traffic cones at the gator, but it just snapped at the cones and flung them away.
The gator even assaulted a police car, biting a chunk out of its bumper.
Officers finally used a lasso and metal poles to coax the alligator into a drainage ditch leading to a lake.
State game warden David Chavez couldn't explain why a gator would take up residence on a busy highway.
"They keep to themselves," he said. "They don't go out looking for trouble."