Gator Chases Teen Girl Into Tree Surrounded By Water, Then Hero Shows Up
Altoona, FL – A Lake County sheriff’s deputy shot an alligator with his AR-15 to rescue a 15-year-old girl on Friday (video below).
Jordan Broderick was hanging out on a raft in a creek near the Alexander Springs Park in the Ocala National Forest at about 3 p.m. on June 29 when she attracted the attention of a large alligator, according to WDTN.
Broderick tried to paddle her raft to shore, but couldn’t make it all the way before the alligator lunged at her.
She grabbed onto a large tree branch over the water and pulled herself to safety just in time, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
But the 10-11 foot alligator wasn’t going to give up easily, and so it waited in the water at the base of the tree just beneath where Broderick was hanging, and she said it hissed at her.
Her mother called 911 in a panic, and the operator who answered asked her if she could hold.
“No! It’s an emergency,” the mother replied on the recording.
Then the mother told the operator that her daughter was suspended over the water about 500 feet from shore.
“My daughter is stuck in a fricking tree. There’s gators surrounding her. We can’t get her out! She’s 15,” the panicked woman explained. “Oh my God! Please hurry! Please hurry!”
“You said she’s stuck in a tree?” the operator asked.
“She’s in the tree. She got in the tree to get out of the water. There’s gators on land and in the water right under her,” the mother said.
The 911 operator tried to get additional information about the situation to give to responding deputies, but the mother was too hysterical.
“How can you expect me to be calm when my kid’s in a f--king tree?” the mother shrieked into the phone.
The operator asked her if anyone had a boat at the scene.
“I’ve got my marine unit that headed out there. Is there any neighbor in the area that has a boat that could help you, or help us?” she asked.
“No, I don’t know anybody out here,” the frantic woman replied. “I’m out here to swim and camp.”
“Well ma’am, at a time like this, I would ask somebody that’s a stranger,” the operator suggested.
The mother appeared to let her terror get the best of her as she began verbally abusing the 911 operator who was trying to help her. Her cell phone signal got sketchy and it was difficult for the operator to hear her as she screamed questions and profanities.
In response to one of the mother’s questions, the 911 operator advised that the marine unit was en route to the scene via land, and that they were about 20 minutes out.
The mother sounded as if she was having a total meltdown, and screamed at the operator again before hanging up the phone or losing her signal, the recording showed.
Broderick had been in the tree for 30 minutes when help finally arrived.
When Lake County Sheriff’s Deputy Mitch Blackmon got there, she was screaming that she was tired from hanging onto the branch, according to the police report.
The deputy said that the alligator wasn’t frightened by the appearance of the officer. Instead, the alligator began to make its way toward the deputy.
Deputy Blackmon fired one shot from his Bushmaster AR-15 rifle and hit the alligator, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
The alligator sank into the water and did not reappear, according to the police report.
The Orlando Sentinel reported that a Lake County marine biologist has confirmed the alligator died.
Sheriff’s Sergeant Fred Jones told WDTN that July was when mating season comes to a close, and that residents needed to be cautious because alligators were protecting their eggs or their babies.
“The end of mating season for alligators means that gators are acting more aggressive and territorial,” Sgt. Jones warned.
Listen to the audio of the mother’s frantic 911 call in the video below: