Man Tries to Wrestle Alligator, Saved by Teen Heroes

Another only-in-Florida story I missed a few weeks ago, around the 4th of July holiday was about Matthew Pope, a man in Bartow who ended up on the losing end of an Alligator encounter. Apparently, he initiated it himself: don’t blame the poor gator for attacking. The guy claims his dog was recently eaten by a gator, and that he was seeking revenge: which is not legal justification for messing with Alligators, who are protected by law in Florida. Turns out, he may have been fibbing about the dog.

He grabbed the gator, who was able to bust out of his grip and latch on to his arm. He was lucky he didn’t get hurt more severely, or even killed. Two teenagers, Daniel Butler and Ryan Stromsnes, jumped in the water to save him, and then used a belt to make a tourniquet for his injured arm. These kids are legitimately heros. The poor gator ended up being destroyed by authorities, and he didn’t even pick the fight. No word on whether Pope will face charges for molesting the gator.

Just another reminder, don’t mess with wild animals, especially gators:

Crimcourts strives to be the leading Alligator blog news leader.

2 responses to “Man Tries to Wrestle Alligator, Saved by Teen Heroes

  1. I think the dog story is a good affirmative defense. What if the dog was an emotionally assistive canine (EAC)? Would that create the defense of necessity or emotional distress for mitigation in sentencing? Let’s assume Pope did not report to work, and he drank and smoked himself into an unstable state, in the days between the dog being eaten and the gator’s demise.

    • PTSD – leading to temporary insanity. A longshot- especially if there isn’t a dog! Voluntary inoxication is not a defense in FL, so drinking/smoking would work against him!

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