WALTON COUNTY — A 20-year-old man was cited for killing a small alligator near the Choctawhatchee River last month.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission received a complaint June 17 of the illegal killing of an alligator that happened the previous day.
According to the arrest report, two people said they watched a man kill an alligator on the shore of the Choctawhatchee River. They told an officer that they were out on their boat when they came to a place called “the power lines.”
The couple got off the boat and walked for about 30 minutes. When they returned, there was a group of about eight people gathered near the shoreline. They said the group was being loud and drinking alcohol.
They saw them begin to point at something large in a nearby puddle and several young men started grabbing at it. The couple told the officer one of the men pulled an alligator, approximately 18 inches long, from the water.
According to the report, the man tried to break the alligator’s neck by bending its head backward, but was unsuccessful. Then, he started to swing it around by the head.
When its neck still didn’t break, he put the alligator on the ground and “beat it with his fist until the guts came out.”
The couple said they overheard what others called the man, so they looked up his first name on Facebook and found his full name. The officer confronted the suspect at his place of work the following week and talked to him about the incident.
It is unclear if the man admitted to the crime since a portion of the arrest report is redacted. He was charged for taking or possessing an alligator without a permit and given a court date.