An Everglades City airboat captain whose hand was bitten off by an alligator last month was arrested Friday, now facing a charge of feeding the reptile.
Wallace "Wally" Weatherholt, 63, was released from jail Friday on $1,000 bond after his arrest on a charge of unlawful feeding of an alligator, a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials said Weatherholt, an employee of Captain Doug's Everglades Tours, was giving an Indiana family an airboat tour when a 9-foot alligator bit off his left hand. A woman on the airboat told NBC-2 that Weatherholt was feeding the alligator before he patted the water, trying to get the alligator to surface. That's when the reptile attacked, the woman said.
Between January 2011 and May 2012, six people were warned and 13 cited in Florida for feeding or enticing an alligator, according to FWC records.