CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) — An 11-foot gator, known as “Fat Daddy” went after a man who jumped into a pond to retrieve a disc used for disc golf.
Putting up a fight, and not liking being taped at the nose and feet, “Fat Daddy” protested every minute as an FWC trapper prepared to take him away.
Around 5 p.m. Monday, witnesses said, the 35-year-old man, later identified as Richard Peel, jumped into a pond at Cliff Stephens Park to retrieve a disc golf disc.
“We heard the guy scream. So three of the guys came running over and basically, they were pulling on him as the alligator was pulling him back in the water,” said Damon Walker.
An FWC spokeswoman told News Channel 8, Peel was playing disc golf, but witnesses believe he retrieves wayward discs, hoping to collect a finder’s fee.
“The guy actually stabbed the alligator in the eye with a knife. So you could see the alligator’s eye kind of hanging out,” said Walker.
Other disc golfers heard the commotion and ran to help.
“We were playing disc golf back on the other side of the lake and heard screams. So we ran over and there were three of the other guys out here, ran across the way over here into the lake and pulled the guy out of the water, out of the gator’s mouth,” said Kyle Streck.
Peel went to Mease Countryside Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
“It wasn’t a disc, it was someone’s life that was, probably, if it wasn’t the three other people out on hole four, guy probably might wouldn’t have been here, honestly,” said Christopher Quizhpie.
Trappers caught a second gator nearby because it is not afraid of people.
There are signs here, warning of gators in this lake. Apparently, that didn’t matter to the guy almost eaten by one.