Published On: Tue, Jul 7th, 2015

Tommie Woodward identified who ignored alligator warning, then killed while swimming

A man who apparently ignored the risks of the alligators in a river and jumped in the water, despite warning signs, is dead after being attacked.

Orange County Police have identified the victim as Tommie Woodward, 28, the man who ignored the “No Swimming Alligators” sign and seemed to mock the deadly creatures before going in the water, according to the Orange County Justice of the Peace Rodney Price while speaking with CNN affiliate KFDM.

“He removed his shirt, removed his billfold … someone shouted a warning and he said ‘blank the alligators’ and jumped in to the water and almost immediately yelled for help,” Price said.

Burkart’s Marina employee Michelle Wright said she told Woodward “Please do not go swimming, there’s a bigger alligator out here. Just please stay out of the water,” but the next thing she heard was the woman screaming, “An alligator’s got him.”


Tommie Woodward, dead from an alligator attack after ignoring the warnings

Wright said she used a flashlight in the darkness to scan the water.

Authorities arrived at the Marina near the Louisiana state line after reports that Woodward and an unidentified woman were swimming in a bayou and had been attacked by a large alligator.

Woodward’s body was found several hours later by a game warden. The woman was not injured.

“I saw his body floating face down,” Wright told KFDM. His left arm had been bitten and there were puncture wounds on his chest, authorities confirmed.

“And then he’s out there for a couple of seconds and then he’s dragged back down. And then he comes back up still face down and then he gets pulled down again. And then he just disappears,” Wright detailed.

Wrigh added that she knew the victim and his family, said it was a moment she would never forget. She described the events that started out as a late night swim as “heartbreaking.”

According to Texas Parks and Wildlife, the creature “will eat anything it can catch,” and should be treated with caution.

“If the sun is down, stay out the water. That’s when they’re eating. That’s when they’re hunting,” alligator expert Arlie Hammonds told the affiliate.


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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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  1. 10 Shocking Alligator Encounters « Fribliss says:

    […] Bear now faces a potential $500 fine, because that’s what happens when you kill an alligator in Texas. (Source) […]

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