He stole a gator from a Florida mini golf course, then went on the attack, cops say

·2 min read

Usually, you hear about alligators attacking humans, not the other way around.

But that’s exactly what happened in Volusia County, Florida, around 3 a.m. Thursday.

According to a police report from the Daytona Beach Shores Department of Public Safety, officers saw a man later identified as William “Bubba” Hodge carrying an alligator down the sidewalk.

They observed Hodge first attempt to throw the live alligator onto the roof of a building, according to the report, then saw him “take the alligator by the tail,” hit it against the building’s awning, slam it to the ground, then “stomp on it twice.” They then made contact with the individual and “he immediately raised his hands as if he were giving up” and was taken into custody.

Police say Hodge later told them that prior to the cops’ arrival, he had been to the Congo River mini golf course nearby. They say the suspect, who lives in Fort Myers, admitted he jumped the fence to the alligator enclosure and after a “brief wrestling match,” took it.

When asked why the fisherman, a Homestead native, was treating the reptile this way, Hodge allegedly told police he was “teaching it a lesson.”

On its Facebook page, the Daytona Beach Shores Department of Public Safety posted a picture of the arrest.

“Our officers observed William ‘Bubba’ Hodge carrying an alligator down A1A last night. Hodge was arrested after he was seen trying to throw the alligator onto the roof of a business and slamming it on the ground by its tail,” said the agency’s post. “Hodge was charged with five offenses, including the felonies of Animal Cruelty, Possession/Injury of an Alligator, and Burglary.”

As for the poor alligator, it was returned home to the golf course. The manager, who says the animal is worth $300, advised that the business would like to pursue charges for theft and burglary, according to the police report.

Hodge remains behind bars on $4,500 bond at the Volusia County Jail, awaiting a Saturday court date.

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