Florida man, 80, fights alligator in his back yard

By Ben Hooper
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April 17 (UPI) -- An 80-year-old Florida man fought with an alligator in his back yard and was able to contain the reptile before police arrived.

Ed Chapman said he took it upon himself to try to capture the 6 1/2-foot alligator just after 5 p.m. Tuesday in southwest Miami-Dade County.


Chapman said his dog, Rocco, alerted him to the intruder and he used a noose pole to try to ensnare it.

"I went and got the noose pulled, and I got it around its neck," Chapman told WSVN-TV. "He swatted me with his tail and knocked my legs out from under me."

Chapman said he struggled with the reptile until it was in his pond.

"We argued together until we got all the way over to this pond," he said, "and then he got his front legs down in the reeds there, and then we went all the way down, and he had his face in the water."

Chapman then called 911 for backup.

"I said, 'I just need some help. I got it contained, but I need some help. I can't get it out by myself,'" he said.


Miami-Dade police and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials responded and completed the capture.

Chapman said he has experience with dangerous animals -- he collects venomous snakes for research and breeds wolves.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office and FWC trappers were called out to a Walmart store earlier in the week to capture an alligator wandering in the parking lot.

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