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2 men charged with illegally catching alligator in Palm Beach County

Posted at 12:52 PM, Sep 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-26 12:52:46-04

Two men face charges after Florida Fish and Wildlife officers said they illegally took an alligator from a pond in Palm Beach County earlier this year.

Investigators said the pair, Brian Bunting, 28, of Newberry, Fla., and David Swick, 31, of Loxahatchee, Fla., were at a pond near the Palm Beach County North Airport off of the Beeline Highway on May 13.

An arrest report by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission said they received a confidential complaint, along with video and a picture, of Bunting and Swick catching the alligator.

The video according to investigators shows Bunting enticing the reptile to shore using a fishing pole with a clump of grass attached.

Bunting is heard saying "have y'all ever seen anyone get bit by an alligator before?"

The FWC report then says Swick was told by Bunting to grab the alligator by the neck and bring it ashore.

The two men then held the alligator and took pictures with it, according to FWC.

They told investigators they knew it was wrong to take the alligator, but they did it for fun while they were out fishing.

The alligator, according to Bunting and Swick, was released back into the pond.

Bunting and Swick were charged under the state law that forbids anyone from taking or possessing an alligator without a permit.

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