Join our brand new verified AMN Telegram channel and get important news uncensored!

Man runs over 11-foot alligator to save his neighbor

Charlie, the Joint Base Charleston - Weapons Station twelve foot one inch 600-pound alligator, June 24, 2013. (US Air Force/Released)
April 29, 2024

A man was recently attacked by an 11-foot alligator while walking his dogs near a pond in Collier County, Florida. The man was saved after his neighbor ran over the alligator with his vehicle.

According to WBBH-TV, Walter Rudder was driving home in Collier County, Florida, during the early evening hours on April 21 when he saw a man lying in the road, waving his arms for help. 

When he stopped to help, Rudder was confronted with the horrifying sight of his neighbor, Rick Fingeret, who was bit in the leg by an 11-foot alligator. According to WBBH, Fingeret begged Rudder to run the alligator over with the vehicle so that it would release his leg from its jaws.

Rudder quickly went back to his vehicle and ran the alligator over, causing it to release its hold and disappear back into the water. Fingeret was then taken to a local hospital, where he was listed in stable condition. 

Fingeret, age 67, had been walking his dogs when the alligator attack occurred. In a 911 call recording released by Naples Daily News, Fingeret can be heard moaning as Rudder warns the operator that the alligator appeared to be trying to drag Fingeret away. 

During the 911 call, an unidentified woman eventually told the operator that the alligator had been run over by Rudder’s car, causing it to let Fingeret’s leg go. The woman described Fingeret’s injuries to the operator, explaining that a shirt was tied around his leg to stem the bleeding.  

READ MORE: Video: Alligator wrangled at Air Force base

The Collier County alligator attack marks at least three alligator-human interactions in recent weeks, giving rise to fear that once uncommon alligator encounters are on the rise in Florida. 

Frank Robb, a professional alligator wrangler and trapper, believes encounters are increasing, according to Fox 35 Orlando. Robb explained that the public has to be more vigilant as alligators lose their natural habitats. 

“The more Florida expands, the more people we get into Florida, the more people we keep jamming down here we’re building on a lot of areas that are surrounding marsh areas and wild areas,” said Robb. “Conflict like this is becoming more common, but that’s not the alligator’s fault. The alligator doesn’t want to be doing this, and of course, people don’t want that type of interaction.”

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has issued safety guidelines to reduce the risk of alligator encounters. The general public is advised to be aware that alligator mating season begins in May or June, with alligators often traveling miles in search of a mate.

People are advised to avoid bodies of water at dusk and dawn, which is when alligators are typically the most active. People are also reminded to never splash on the water’s edge, approach alligators or feed alligators for their own safety.