Gator Fever

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Two charged with illegal alligator activity

Two men, including one from Williston, were arrested last week and charged with violations involving alligators.

Walton Hayward, 77, of Gulf Hammock was charged Nov. 22 with killing/injurying or possession of an alligator or egg without authority.

Also charged was Richard T. Brooks, 66, of NE 180th Avenue, Williston who was charged with alligator poaching.

Officers Sam Dishman and Dustin Bonds were on water patrol at the mouth of the Suwannee River during pre-dawn hours targeting illegal fishing activity. 

They heard a generator start up on Dan May Island and responded to the location. Upon arrival, the officers observed an alligator’s head and hide on the roof of a shed that was illuminated by the headlights of a tractor. The officers confirmed that the alligator was not tagged and made contact with the island’s caretaker. 

After discovering evidence that the alligator was cleaned on the island, a lengthy interview was conducted. The caretaker confessed and nine bags of alligator meat were seized. A citation was issued for the taking of the alligator without a permit.