FL: Man charged with illegal gator trapping
Aug 6, 2010
Man charged with illegal gator trapping
FORT PIERCE, Fla. -- Authorities in Florida said two men who allegedly
tried to capture an alligator that clamped down on a woman's boot are facing
illegal trapping charges.
A St. Lucie County Fire District spokeswoman said Donald Herchenroder,
27, a firefighter and paramedic with the district, and Peter Berger, 23,
were arrested Wednesday and charged with a felony count of unlawful taking
of an alligator, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Friday.
A witness told investigators he saw the two men and an 18-year-old woman,
whose name wasn't released, trying to catch a 4-foot alligator July 14 in
"Once they caught it and brought it in (the witness) observed the girl
... jump on the back of the alligator," an affidavit states. "(The witness)
then observed (the woman) hitting the alligator with an object."
The alligator clamped down on the woman's boot and the men used a hatchet
to pry the gator's jaws open, the witness said.
The witness said the trio threw the reptile back into the water.
Officials said an alligator trapper found the animal with fishing line in
its mouth. The alligator was euthanized and the trapper found "a large hook
with a large chunk of meat, appearing to be chicken, attached to the line."
Authorities said the woman is also facing charges but it was unclear
Friday whether she had been arrested..
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