Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/11/14/gator_incident/
Crime-busting gator kills Florida fugitive
Police chase ends in fatal lunch
A man who attempted to escape pursuing police by jumping into a Florida hotel's alligator pool was killed by a vigilante reptile, Local 10 reports.
The unnamed perp, along with an accomplice, had apparently been breaking into cars on the Miccosukee Indian Reservation in Miami-Dade County. Miccosukee police, assisted by canine units, duly attended the scene and cuffed one man, while the other legged it.
The escapee then "dove* into a retention pond" behind a casino and hotel, despite warning signs. Eyewitnesses said they advised him to return to the shore, but by the time he spotted the gator it was too late. The witnesses said he "screamed but then disappeared under the water".
His body was recovered by divers last Friday from the bottom of the lake, reportedly having been "bitten on the head several times".
His assailant was "well known on the reservation and employees had nicknamed it Poncho". Sadly for Poncho, he and another smaller gator were taken into custody at All American Gator in Pembroke Park pending examination by the Miami-Dade medical examiner and eventual termination under state law which dictates a death sentence for any reptile which "either digests or kills a person".
All American Gator's owner Brian Wood said of Poncho: "Some gators have a nasty disposition and he was a nasty gator. He seemed to have no fear of people which indicates that he was fed." ®
*No sign of the irregular preterite dying out in the good old US of A, it appears. Oh yes, thanks to George A Housley Jr MD for the heads-up.