Swimmer Scoffs at Gators, Gets Killed by One

It's the first fatal attack in Texas in about 200 years
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 4, 2015 8:34 AM CDT
An alligator rests on a bank along Elm Lake at the Brazos Bend State Park in Needville, Texas, in March of this year.   (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

(Newser) – The sign said: "No Swimming: Alligator." The waitress said: "Please do not go swimming, there's a bigger alligator out here, just please stay out of the water." The swimmer said: "F--- the alligators." And that's how Texas recorded its first alligator death in about two centuries yesterday, reports the Houston Chronicle and KFDM. It happened in Orange County near Louisiana when 28-year-old Tommie Woodward ignored all the warnings and jumped into the water at Burkart's Marina. A gator emerged from under the dock and got him almost immediately, the first such death in Texas since 1836, reports Lomi Kriel at the Chronicle.

"He went under one time, then he hollered at her to get out of the water," recalls owner Allen Burkart, referring to a friend of Woodward's who also jumped in. "Then he pulled him down the second time and that was it." Burkart himself had put up the sign recently after spotting the 12-foot gator in the water. Woodward disregarded the sign and the pleas from the staff at a marina burger shop. "He said blank the alligators and thereupon jumped into the water," the Orange County Justice of the Peace tells KFDM.

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