Florida man runs over 11-foot alligator with his truck for one shocking reason that has people calling him a hero

May 2, 2024

There have been a rash of “Florida Man” stories in the news recently.

And most of them do not shed a good light on denizens of the Sunshine State.

But one Florida man ran over an 11-foot alligator with his truck for one shocking reason that has people calling him a hero.

A Naples, Florida, man is being celebrated as a hero after he used his truck to run over an alligator.

A gator had him by the leg

Alligators are everywhere throughout Florida.

And unfortunately, alligator attacks are an everyday occurrence.

But when one man saw his neighbor being dragged into a pond by an 11-foot alligator, he acted, and in the process saved his friend’s life.

Walter Rudder said he was driving his truck in Collier County, Florida, when he saw his friend and neighbor, Rick Fingeret, being attacked by an alligator in their Naples neighborhood.

“Driving, and we saw a man laying on the ground, waving his arms. We pulled over, and I got out of the car and saw that an alligator had him by the leg,” Rudder said. “It was dragging him into the pond.”

Rudder then said his friend, the 67-year-old Fingeret, begged him to try and run over the alligator in the hopes it would release his leg. 

The plan worked.

As Rudder drove over the alligator, the gator let go of Fingeret and then scurried back into the pond without its prey.

In the recording of the 911 call Fingeret can be heard saying that there’s “two big bites” in his thigh.

Bopping it on the head just did not work 

Fortunately, a quick thinking woman at the scene wrapped a shirt around his bleeding thigh and turned on her hazard lights to wait for emergency personnel to arrive. 

It ended up taking more than six minutes for emergency personnel to get to Fingeret.

Fingeret was then airlifted to Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers to be treated for his wounds. 

Fingeret said he had been walking his two Labrador dogs when the gator attack took place and proudly stated that his two loyal dogs never left his side throughout the entire attack.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission found the gator and captured and relocated it. 

They measured the gator and confirmed it was 11 feet long.

Fingeret told WINK-TV he had hit the alligator on the head several times, but that caused the gator to only bite down harder on his leg.

The Fish and Wildlife Commission pointed to the attack to remind Florida residents that it is alligator mating season.

That season runs from May until June and attacks by alligators are much more likely during mating season. 

They urged residents to stay away from all bodies of water, keep their pets on leashes, and never approach alligators.

While alligator attacks seem like an everyday occurrence, there are on average seven alligator attacks on humans every year in Florida. 

Almost none of the attacks lead to fatalities, and not surprisingly most victims are Florida men.

DeSantis Daily will keep you up-to-date on any new developments in this ongoing story.

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