Home / Top Story / Fla. gator eats suspected burglar hiding near lake: deputies

Fla. gator eats suspected burglar hiding near lake: deputies


Updated: Monday, December 7, 2015, 10:32 PM

Matthew Riggins, 22,  was discovered by in a Barefoot Bay lake on November 23, 2015. Authorities say he drowned as a result of an alligator attack.Brevard County Sheriff’s Office

This Florida alligator took a bite out of crime.

A suspected burglar died after he was chomped by a gator while hiding from police near Barefoot Bay, Brevard County sheriffs said.

Authorities found Matthew Riggins’ body on Nov. 23 in a lake. As police tried to pull the remains from the body of water, they were almost attacked by an aggressive 11-foot alligator, Major Tod Goodyear said in a statement.

After the gator was euthanized by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, forensic investigators found the 22-year-old burglary suspect’s hand and foot inside the reptile’s stomach, officials said.

“He hid in the wrong place,” Laura Farris, a Barefoot Bay resident told Bay News 9.

Several hours before his attempted break-in, Riggins told his girlfriend he would be in the Barefoot Bay community to steal from homes, officers said.

Deputies responded to the neighborhood around 2 a.m. Nov. 13 after receiving reports of two suspicious men dressed in black.

When officers approached the duo, the perps fled and hid near a lake.

While hiding, Riggins called his girlfriend and said he was being chased by deputies.

Police found the alligator attack victim’s alleged partner-in-crime, who has not been cooperative, cops said. 

Riggins was reported missing by family the next day and ultimately was found dead in the lake 10 days after the burglary call.


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