July 29, 2012

Man Has Entire Hand Chomped Off By Alligator - Deputies Skip The "Get Well" Card And Break Out The Handcuffs

Everglades City, Florida (The Weekly Vice) - It's a great day in Collier County, Florida. Crime has been squashed to an all time low, it would seem. So low, the Sheriff's Office can now focus on those serious crimes, like having your entire hand chomped off by an alligator.

Wallace Weatherholt, a 63-year-old Everglades airboat captain was jailed after he allegedly fed an alligator, then got his hand bitten off as a result.

According to the Collier County Sheriff's Office, Weatherholt was giving an Indiana family a tour of the Everglades on June 12th when he reportedly hung a fish over the side of the airboat with his bare hand.

Investigators say a 9-foot alligator then attacked Weatherholt, biting his hand off.

Wildlife officials tracked the alligator down, then euthanized him. Weatherholt's hand was retrieved, but it was unable to be reattached.

Weatherholt was booked into the Collier County Jail and charged with unlawful feeding of an alligator, which is a second-degree misdemeanor. He was released after posting $1,000 bond.

He is scheduled to appear in court on August 22nd.

Editor's note:
Of course we aren't making light of the fact that feeding alligators in Florida is, in fact, a serious issue. Attracting alligators to urban areas create a safety risk for people and there should certainly be laws on the books that ban such activity.

But in the context of this particular case, you really have to wonder if the Sheriff's Office isn't a little overstaffed if they really have time to jail a guy who just had his hand chomped off by one of these animals. Especially in Florida, where the jails are overrun by violent repeat offenders who are usually back on the street within 24 hours.

Mandi Milenko
The Weekly Vice

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