This painful encounter began with a routine traffic stop. Pinellas County deputies pulled over Bryan Zuniga, 20, on Thursday for driving erratically. According to a news release by the sheriff’s office, Zuniga responded by stopping his vehicle and fleeing from the scene by breaking through a nearby fence. In hindsight, he should have paid the ticket.
Police found him later in a local hospital where Zuniga was receiving treatment for an alligator attack. The suspect had received multiple puncture wounds to his face, arm, and armpit area where the animal had grabbed hold of him. Zuniga told investigating deputies that he encountered the reptile near a water treatment facility shortly after he fled. The alligator then began to bite him, but Zuniga was able to escape and find medical treatment.
Deputies escorted Zuniga to Pinellas County jail after he was cleared from the hospital. He is currently being charged with property damage, eluding police and driving without a license.
Neither Zuniga or the alligator vigilante could be reached for comment.
Image courtesy Pinellas Country Sheriff's Office