Deputies: Florida man arrested for killing gator that attacked stepson

Credit: Sumter County Sheriff's Office

A Florida man was arrested earlier this month after he shot and killed an alligator that was messing with his livestock and attacked his stepson.

Reginald Blanton, 74, saw his horses acting strangely at his Bushnell-area home and noticed a large alligator near them, so he approached the animal and fired his 9mm handgun at it four times, hitting it three times, WFLA reports. "I took my gun with me when I went out there because I didn't know what ... was out there," he said.

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After shooting at it, Blanton's 58-year-old stepson, Jack Hildreth, approached the animal and it sprung to life and attacked him.

"Whenever he raised up after my stepson, it looked like he was shot out of a cannon. I had never seen nothing like it," Blanton told WFLA.

"It was a burst of lighting like. It was just a surprise," Hildreth added.

A friend helped to pull Hildreth away from the alligator, which was killed by a licensed trapper. Hildreth was taken to the hospital with severe injuries while Blanton was arrested by deputies for unlawfully killing the gator. WFLA reports the family is now struggling with medical expenses for Hildreth and the $1,000 bail posted for Blanton, who is now out of jail.

Read more at WFLA.