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VOLUSIA COUNTY, FL – A Florida man stands accused of stealing an alligator from a miniature golf course and then beating it up in order to “teach it a lesson,” according to the Daytona Beach Shores Department of Public Safety.
Police say that they were on routine patrol on South Atlantic Avenue at approximately 3:20 a.m. on Thursday when they say they saw William “Bubba” Hodge, 32, allegedly trying to throw a small alligator by its tail onto the roof of a building, but only succeeded in hitting it against an awning.
Hodge then allegedly hit the reptile into the ground by its tail twice, after which he stomped on it twice and then picked it up and slammed it into the ground once again, according to authorities.
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Police intervened, at which time Hodge immediately put up his hands and surrendered without further incident, cops say.
Hodge reportedly claimed that he had climbed a fence and stolen the alligator from Congo River Golf after having briefly engaged in a wrestling match with it. When asked why he was assaulting the reptile, police say he replied that he was “teaching it a lesson.”
The alligator, which is expected to survive, was returned to management of Congo River Golf.
Hodge was charged with five offenses, including the felonies of Animal Cruelty, Possession/Injury of an Alligator, and Burglary, according to the Daytona Beach Shores Department of Public Safety.
However, the suspect’s antics didn’t end there; while in custody, police say that Hodge attempted to flood his holding cell by clogging up his toilet and a drain with paper, and threatened to flood the entire jail while he was at it.