Retiree Wrestles Gator, Saves His Dog

Mild-mannered Florida man dove in, and won

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 19, 2012 11:44 AM CDT

(Newser) – In some crazy alternate universe called "Florida," a mild-mannered retiree dived into a pond and fought a 7-foot gator that was making off with his terrier—and the retiree won. Seems 66-year-old Steve Gustafson was trimming an oak tree at his home in a retirement community when he heard what the Orlando Sentinel calls a "blood curdling yelp." He turned and saw the gator snatch his dog from the shore of a nearby pond. Gustafson then kind of wigged out.

"For whatever reason, I don't know, I just yelled, 'You're not going to get her!' and just leaped on the gator—just like you do some silly belly flop in a pool," he recalls. "The only difference was I landed on top of a gator." They wrestled, and Gustafson won. At one point, he tossed the gator deeper into the pond to enable him and little Bounce to make it to shore. Both are fine. The gator, however, was later trapped and is bound for Gustafson's mantel.

Don't mess with the Villages, friend.
Don't mess with the Villages, friend.   (Shutter)
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