A 35-year-old man was bitten by a gator while retrieving an item from the water at a Clearwater park Monday afternoon, according to Clearwater Fire and Rescue Department officials.
The man, identified by Spectrum Bay News 9 as Richard Peel, was playing disc golf at Cliff Stephens Park on Monday when he tried to get a disc from a pond. While retrieving the disc, fire officials said a gator in the water bit him.
Multiple people came to the water’s edge to help Peel after the attack, witnesses told Bay News 9.
“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,” Damon Walker told WFLA News Channel 8.
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Peel was taken to the hospital to be treated for what officials at the scene believed to be non-life threatening injuries.
Trappers and FWC officials pulled the gator out of the water. Clearwater Fire and Rescue officials said in a tweet the gator was 10 feet long, but local media reports say the gator was reported to be about 11 feet.
Ashley Tyler, with FWC, told ABC Action News they noticed the gator was “showing behaviors that it was not afraid of people.”
A second alligator was also removed from the pond, according to ABC Action News.
FWC will investigate the incident, according to fire officials.
WFLA reports signs were posted in the area warning of possible alligators in the water.