Man Arrested For Shooting Alligator Who Brutally Attacked Stepson
Florida Man Arrested for Killing an Alligator That Attacked His Stepson
A 74-year-old Florida man was arrested for shooting and killing an alligator that was endangering his horses and later attacked his stepson, according to Florida news station WFLA News — and his friends and family are in total disbelief.
The incident occurred earlier this summer when Reginald Blanton first noticed that his horses were behaving strangely out in his field. Unsure of what might be bothering them, Blanton brought his gun with him to check on them. That's when he spotted the gator — and proceeded to shoot it three times in an attempt to protect his horses.
Blanton tells WFLA News that he shot the alligator in an attempt to protect his horses. But things only got crazier from there: After Blanton shot at the animal, his stepson, 58-year-old Jack Hildreth, assumed it was dead and approached the scene. The alligator was still alive, however, and it lunged at Hildreth. "It was a burst of lightning," he told WFLA News. "It was just a surprise."
Hildreth sustained a severe leg wound in the attack before someone pulled him away from the alligator. Once local authorities arrived on the scene, a licensed trapper euthanized the gator.
The next surprise came when a Sumter County deputy arrested Blanton, who was cited for unlawfully killing the alligator. Friends and family tell WFLA News that they're shocked by the arrest. On top of paying for Hildreth's medical expenses, Blanton's family has now also had to pay for bail and an attorney for Blanton — even though he was just trying to protect himself, his family and his property from the dangerous animal.
WFLA has reportedly reached out to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to ask if Blanton's motive of self-defense will protect him in court, but the news station has not yet received a response.
For more on this story, watch the video from WFLA News below.
Video: Alligator Attacks Man in Florida
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