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Florida man stole gator from mini-golf course and repeatedly beat it, police say

The alligator was returned to the mini-golf course after the man’s arrest.
A Fort Myers man was arrested Thursday morning for stealing an alligator and then beating it, police say.
A Fort Myers man was arrested Thursday morning for stealing an alligator and then beating it, police say. [ Daytona Beach Shores Police Department ]
Published Jul. 16
Updated Jul. 16

A Florida man is accused of stealing a gator and beating it repeatedly before he was found by police, according to the Daytona Beach Shores Police Department.

William Hodge, 32, was arrested after police said they witnessed him try to throw a stolen alligator onto the roof of a business in Daytona Beach Shores, a small coastal community just south of the more well-known Daytona Beach. When Hodge failed to make it onto the roof, police say the Fort Myers man continued to beat the animal, slinging it into the ground by its tail.

Hodge faces charges of animal cruelty, alligator poaching, burglary of an unoccupied dwelling, criminal mischief and petit theft, jail records show.

The Daytona Beach Shores Police Department said on Facebook that Hodge stole the gator from the Congo River Golf course at 2100 South Atlantic Ave. about 3 a.m. Thursday. After his arrest, the animal was returned to the golf course, which allows guests to feed gators as an attraction.

Hodge remained in custody at the Volusia County Jail Thursday night, where he was being held on a $4,500 bail.

Our officers observed William "Bubba" Hodge carrying an alligator down A1A last night. Hodge was arrested after he was...

Posted by Daytona Beach Shores Department of Public Safety on Thursday, July 15, 2021