WEST PALM BEACH, Fl. (CBS12) -- Two men are facing criminal charges after an incident with an alligator.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers say two guys captured an alligator for fun and took a video of themselves with it and put the video on Facebook.
“You guys ever seen someone get bit by an alligator before? Look at this one right here. C’mon buddy, c’mon buddy,” says Brian Bunting as the video begins.
Florida law says it’s illegal to kill, possess or capture an alligator without a permit.
But that didn’t stop these two guys, who were fishing in a pond in Palm Beach County near the Bee Line Highway.
“Here! Here! Here! Grab his neck right now! Grab him, grab him! Grab him! Grab him! (laughter) Okay. Better grab his tail. That (expletive) will slap you with that tail and it’ll hurt. Look, look. Get his jaws like that. Okay. Get his tail. Get a pic. And that is how you catch a gator by hand,” Bunting says in the video.
Officers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission were alerted to this incident by an anonymous tip in May.
They say the video shows David Swick, 31, of Wellington wading in knee deep water and catching the alligator, which came up on the bank as the gator tried to get a fish they had caught.
Another man, Brian Bunting, 28, of Newberry, Florida, captured it all on camera.
According to the arrest report, Bunting told officers “They both knew not to mess with alligators, but caught it for fun.”
They told authorities they released the alligator.
We went to Swick’s address in Wellington but could not reach him for comment. He did not return a call seeking comment.
What the two men did---catching a Florida alligator---is a 3rd degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison.
Whether they would get five years, or something less such as community service, would be up to a judge to decide.