Police: Man breaks into crocodile enclosure, gets bitten

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say a 23-year-old man was found injured after breaking into a Florida zoo and jumping into a crocodile enclosure.

The Florida Times-Union reports St. Augustine police responded Tuesday morning to reports of vandalism at the Alligator Farm Zoological Park. Police say officers found blood and clothing in the zoo’s newly opened Nile crocodile exhibit.

There was no sign of a victim, but police received calls about a man in his underwear crawling across a nearby yard. Security video shows one of the crocodiles biting Brandon Keith Hatfield on the leg. Hatfield told officers he had been bitten by an alligator.

Authorities say Hatfield caused about $5,000 in damage at the 125-year-old zoo. He was hospitalized and faces a vandalism charge.

Alligator farm director John Brueggen says it’s the first time anyone has tried to swim with the park’s crocodiles.


Information from: The (Jacksonville) Florida Times-Union, http://www.jacksonville.com

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