Erial Hernandez Diaz and Anibal Delgado Reyes of Hialeah, Florida were arrested this past week for allegedly attempting to catch an alligator, despite the fact that neither man has a permit to do so, news sources report. Diaz, 37, and Reyes, 46, were each booked into police custody on a misdemeanor charge of hunting alligator without a permit. A Broward County judge allowed them to leave jail without posting bond. The press did not specify a lawyer for either of the defendants.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission classifies the American alligator as threatened specie. As such, it is illegal to fish or capture alligator without a license. Alligator hunting season runs from August to November in Florida, and each permit holder is allowed to catch a maximum of two alligators. Permits are already sold out for the upcoming season; over 6,000 have been issued, sources say.
According to reports, the incident occurred Tuesday evening at the Everglades Holiday Park in Broward County. An off-duty policeman and his son spotted the defendants trying to catch the alligator, sources say. Diaz and Reyes allegedly tried numerous times to illegally hook the beast without success. “They purposely attempted to hook a gator multiple times, but the line kept snapping,” the officer reportedly said. “They were never able to reel the gator in to where they could harvest it.” It is not clear whether the pair was aware of the legal restrictions on alligator hunting.
The off-duty officer reported the illegal fishing attempt to the park’s staff. The defendants were later arrested an appeared in bond court before a county judge. During the hearing, the defendants reportedly claimed that they had caught the gator by accident.
In other news, police are attempting to find two men and a woman who allegedly took $1,250 from Jim’s Bar-B-Que in Reddick by tricking a clerk, reports say. Police are currently conducting an investigation to determine the suspect’s identity. So far, they do not appear to have made any arrests and are asking for the public’s assistance.
According to reports, the incident occurred around 5:30 p.m. on June 22 at Jim’s Bar-B-Que. One suspect initially called the restaurant and spoke with clerk Amber Benz, reports say. During the call, the suspect pretended to be Thor Wishart, the owner of the restaurant. The suspect told the clerk that he would enter the store with a key, which he would exchange with her for cash. The suspect first told her to hand over $650, but later changed it to $1,250, sources say.
A man and a woman arrived while the clerk was still on the phone, reports say. They approached the clerk, and the man reportedly told her that Wishart had sent him. The suspect purportedly handed the clerk a key, and in exchange she handed him $1,250 in cash. The suspect then left the store.
The clerk later told Karen Wishart, Thor’s wife, about the incident. Karen immediately called police, reports say. It is not known whether police have any leads.