Gator Takes Bite out of Crime

Published 05/13 2013 11:01AM

Updated 05/13 2013 11:04AM

(WFLA)  A man who ran from Florida deputies during a traffic stop turned up later in the hospital, claiming he'd been attacked by an alligator.

Pinellas County deputies say they pulled over Bryan Zuniga, 20, for failing to maintain a single lane.  Instead of cooperating, Zuniga opened the passenger door, jumped out of the vehicle, kicked a hole in a nearby fence, and escaped.

About nine hours later, Zuniga was found at a local hospital, where he was being treated for multiple puncture wounds to his face, arm, and armpit area.  

Zuniga told deputies he was attacked by an alligator near a water treatment plant in unincorporated St. Petersburg.

Neighbors who live in Westchester Estates say they are used to seeing wildlife in the area near the plant.  Most had heard of Zuniga's encounter with the reptile.  

"Anybody who does something that's questionably judgmental about jumping into the water to flee the police kind of like asked for that kind of response" said Donna Keller.  

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