LARGO, Fla. (WFLA) — The man who police believe was killed by an alligator in Largo this week was warned several times before to stay out of the water where the attack happened, 8 On Your Side has confirmed.
Kevin Bradley, who manages the disk golf course at John S. Taylor Park in Largo, says he’s well aware the lake is filled with alligators. He says he tried to warn 47-year-old Sean McGuinness about the danger of the alligators in the water many times.
“He comes out here to retrieve the disks out the water. He’s homeless,” said Bradley.
He says McGuinness ignored those warnings.
“I talked to everybody and I tell them to stay out of the water. We know to stay out of the water because we know the gator. The gator is the logo and the mascot on our club,” said Bradley.
The Largo Police Department also has records that show officers tried to warn McGuinness to stay out of the lake.
Officers with the police department found McGuinness’ body in the lake earlier this week and believe he was the victim of an alligator attack.
Licensed trappers caught two alligators after the attack was reported. A necropsy performed on the animals later confirmed they were not involved in the attack.
Some who visit the lake are not happy the alligators were killed.
“The gators are just doing what they do. First of all, it’s mating season. People should know better than to go into the water, I don’t care what goes in there,” Jamie Jellissen said.
Marty Key grew up near the lake and likes to fish there. He says he’s always on the look out for alligators when he’s near the water because he knows they can be dangerous.
“If they go under right there, if they just sink right there, I step back because you never know if they are going to come up and charge out of that water,” said Key.
He says he spotted several large alligators on Friday.
“When I was growing up, you didn’t see ’em like that. You might have seen one female and then a bunch of little males. They seemed to tone it down back then,” said Key.
He says it might be time to thin the population at the lake again to make it safe for everyone to enjoy.