A man arrested for allegedly stealing an alligator from a golf course and trying to throw it on a roof has offered police an unusual excuse for his alleged actions.
William “Bubba” Hodge, 32, from Florida, US, was arrested on Thursday after police allege officers spotted him attempting to throw the gator onto the roof of a cocktail lounge located just off Highway A1A.
The officers then saw the man take the alligator by its tail, hit it against the awning of the building, throw it to the ground and stomp on it twice, according to a police report.
The alligator was returned to management of Congo River Golf from where Hodge claimed to have stolen it after a brief wrestling match, police said.
When police asked Hodge why he was tangling with a wild animal he allegedly said he was “teaching it a lesson”.
Hodge was charged with five offences, including animal cruelty, possession/injury of an alligator, and burglary.
It is not clear if the alligator suffered any injuries during the incident.
Man photographed ‘taunting’ alligator
In March, authorities sought a man photographed appearing to taunt an alligator at Fripp Island Resort, in the US state of South Carolina.
In a photo uploaded by the resort to Facebook he is seen holding the alligator’s tail while another man looks on holding his phone up.
“Harassment, enticement, or feeding of wildlife is both illegal and dangerous,” the resort wrote.
“We are sharing this incident in hopes that the violators will be found, not to encourage this behaviour.”
He was later found.
SC Department of Natural Resources spokesman David Lucas told USA Today “this guy is going to pay a hefty price”.
“But the safety issue is so much more serious than that. You could lose your life,” he said.
It’s not clear what punishment he received.
with The Associated Press
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