This 23-year-old man was quite a lucky guy, despite getting arrested… but it could have been much worse, considering he jumped in a crocodile enclosure at the St. Augustine’s Alligator Farm Zoological Park!
Imagine the surprise of workers when they showed up and found two rubber Croc shoes, along with shorts, floating in the water of the enclosure. There was also a bloody trail to the top of the nearly 20-foot-tall enclosure, as well.
It all started when a neighbor to the Alligator Farm called police, saying that a suspicious person was crawling in their backyard… in his underwear. Next, a call came from the Alligator Farm itself, reporting major vandalism at one of the exhibits.
Brandon Keith Hatfield was found by the police, where he insisted he had been bitten by an alligator. But with the two phone calls to 911, the police put two and two together and knew there was more to the story.
Based on surveillance video, it was seen that Hatfield got into the park the night before, damaged part of the snack bar, than went into the alligator exhibit.
“He jumped off a 5 to 6 foot structure into about 2 feet of water, then climbed up on the 20-foot structure later, which we know from the blood trail,” the park owner said. “In our 125-year history, this is the first time anyone has tried to go swimming with the crocodiles.”
The security cameras show a 9-foot-long crocodile lunging at the man, who escaped to the edge of the pool. But soon, the crocodile locked onto his left foot! It’s amazing that he managed to get away at all!
He started climbing part of the facility’s zip line feature, where he experienced considerable bleeding. He also managed to knock over a statue valued at $3,000.
Hatfield’s story is almost as impressive as his escape! He first claimed that he ran into an old man who had an alligator on a leash, then ended up being “surrounded by all these baby alligators.” Evidently, the old man had a pool in his garage and was trying to feed him to his alligators. That’s quite a story, but it’s too bad he didn’t realize there was surveillance video telling a completely different story!
Hatfield was taken to a hospital, but attempted to leave and was caught as he got into a retention pond surrounded with barbed wire outside of the hospital. He was immediately placed under arrest and taken back to the hospital, where he needed surgery on his foot, along with fixing a broken ankle from jumping off the roof of the Alligator Farm.
He was charged with burglary and criminal mischief, and also caused more than $5,100 in damage. He should just be thankful he’s alive to tell the tale!
Original article and Image Credit: Florida Man Wearing Crocs Jumps Into Crocodile Pond at Alligator Farm