photo courtesy FWC
Working to be your leading Alligator-law related blog, we bring you this story from the FWC. FWC officers stopped a man driving a truck through a wildlife management area to check for his day-use pass, only to find dismembered alligator parts stashed around his vehicle. Upon questioning, the man admitted he had recently killed the alligator without permission.
Alligators can now be legally hunted in Florida, like deer and other animals, but alligator hunts are closely regulated. Know your laws before you hunt… or fish: Florida takes wildlife management seriously.
And be sure of what you’re doing. Don’t be like Bryan Rohm. He was out hunting an alligator with his son (legally!) and thought he had killed it. He was sorely mistaken, and when he brought it in the boat, the alligator bit his thumb and jumped back into the water. He had shot the gator twice with the bang-stick, an alligator hunting device (basically it delivers a shotgun blast at point blank range), and wasn’t able to stop the thing. Alligators are badasses.
Gator at Wendy’s
This is the purest “only in Florida” case yet. A man from Jupiter was going through a Wendy’s drive-thru. He received his drink, and then grabbed a live, 3 and a half foot alligator and chucked through the open window. An FWC officer was able to corral the gator in the kitchen, and it was able to be safely returned to the wild.
It actually took officers several months to make an arrest. The Defendant, Joshua James, was tracked via surveillance footage and vehicle tags, and he has been charged with taking a gator and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The alligator is the weapon. While such a small juvenile gator may not be lethal, it qualifies as a deadly weapon since it is capable a causing serious bodily harm (he could take off a digit!) In the meantime, we get to enjoy this guy’s mug shot!
Crimcourts continues to be the world leader on criminal related alligator news!
Another day… another criminal reaps his own downfall. Last month in Florida, Matthew Riggins was killed fleeing from cops investigating a burglary in Brevard County. His body was found floating in the Barefoot Bay Lake approximately 10 days later. An 11-foot alligator was found near his body… it was euthanized, and examination of its stomach revealed that it had caused Mr. Riggins’ demise.
Riggins’ Missing Poster
It goes without saying that crime doesn’t pay. Riggins and an accomplice were spotted trying to break into a house (he also contacted his girlfriend before and during his attempted burglary and escape). Many times, the flight from the crime exacerbates the problem, often worse than the crime itself. Just a few weeks ago, I wrote an article titled: “Don’t Jump in the River When the Cops are Looking for You.” While that guy had to be rescued by law enforcement, it certainly can get a lot worse, as Mr. Riggins found out the hard way.
The inherently dangerous nature of criminal activity and flight from law enforcement raises the likelihood of harm occurring during the crime. See, for instance, the clowns in Garcia v. State, two of which killed themselves in the course of a robbery. The stakes are higher in Florida, not only due to the canals and other waterways that are so prevalent, but also for the nasty critters that hang out there. This is the second criminal to be killed by an alligator that we are aware of, and a third survived an attack just a couple years ago. In fact, there have been only 3 deaths caused by alligators in Florida since the start of 2007… and 2 of them were wanted men fleeing the scene of the crime. Don’t break the law, and don’t jump in alligator infested waters to try to get away!
Posted in Alligators, Criminal Law, Florida, Uncategorized
Tagged alligator, brevard, burglary, felony murder, fleeing, garcia, matthew riggins, palm bay
Baby Gator in Cape Coral
A couple of unnamed Cape residents saw a baby Alligator wandering in an intersection on Halloween night, and decided to rescue the little guy. It’s clearly a baby, as it is only a foot long, and still has its baby spots, which fade after a few years. The Samaritans scooped up the little guy, only to be stopped by CCPD before they could find a safe place to release it. It’s a crime to possess an Alligator in Florida! Fortunately, Officer Pinkham was sympathetic, and called in FWC to safely relocate the little guy, without charging the Samaritans. Yay, rescued gator!
If you see a Gator in distress, or being a threat or nuisance, it is incumbent to call FWC, at 866-FWC-GATOR (866-392-4286).
Alligator Warning Sign
An alligator sanctuary and animal park in Hot Springs, Arkansas was the victim of a novel burglary. Two thieves broke in and stole 12 baby alligators, and one juvenile that was about three feet long. The thieves worked like pros, security footage showed they were in and out in less than two minutes. They must have been familiar with the park, because they knew exactly where to go. So far, there are no suspects in the case.
Crimcourts continues to be the leader in alligator-related crime news.
It is illegal in Florida to possess an Alligator. Charles Edwards, aka “Half-Breed”, a Collier County resident, was caught with a dozen baby gators being held in an aquarium under his apartment, in a storage area. Investigators think he may have been trying to sell them. He is still sitting in jail, as he has not been able to post bond. Possession of an alligator is a felony charge in Florida. The State of Florida has chosen to give heightened protection to gators, even though their numbers have rebounded, and are no longer endangered. Regardless of your opinion of the policy, gators are protected under Florida law.
FWC: Man thought having a pet gator was cool
James Gill Facing Felony
James Gill, of Naples
James Gill, 45, of Naples caught an alligator in his backyard, and thought it would be cool to keep it as a pet. He put the young gator in a fish tank in his 3-year-old son’s room. That’s extremely dangerous, even little gators have 80 sharp teeth. FWC served a warrant, and charged him with a felony for illegal possession of an alligator. Gill reportedly told officers that it was stupid that it was a felony, because there are millions of them. He may be right, but it’s still against the law, and extremely dangerous.
via Florida Man