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Last week, a 15-year-old girl, Jordan Broderick, was floating on a raft in a creek in the Ocala National Forest north of Orlando, Florida when an alligator approached her. She quickly climbed a nearby tree to escape the critter.


“My daughter’s stuck in a frickin’ tree and there’s gators surrounding her!” the teenager’s mother said frantically to a 911 operator. “Oh my God! Please hurry! Please hurry!”

Jordan was floating on a raft in the creek near Forest Service Road near Alexander Springs park in the Ocala National Forest, 55 miles north of downtown Orlando, when the alligator quickly approached her, authorities said.

That’s when the girl grabbed a large branch hanging over the water and climbed into the tree, according to the report. The alligator then waited in the water at the base of the tree underneath the girl hanging from the branch.

When Deputy Mitch Blackmon arrived, he found the girl in the tree screaming that she was tired from hanging on to the branch, the report said.

“My presence failed to scare the alligator away, and it began encroaching on my area at which time I fired one single 223 round from my Bushmaster AR15 killing the alligator,” Blackmon wrote in his report.

Many of those who want a disarmed population claim there is no civilian purpose for AR-15-style rifles. This incident shows that claim is foolish. Modern sporting rifles, or sport utility rifles, are designed to be easy to use, accurate, and adequately powerful, without excessive recoil. They work equally well for deputies, police, or armed citizens. The rifle offers more accuracy, range, and magazine capacity than the commonly available shotgun, with less recoil.

A shotgun might have worked in this case. But the rifle showed how versatile a tool it is.

The photo above shows how big an 11-foot alligator is. One that size is about 800 pounds of very potent predator. Jordan Broderick was able to hold onto that branch for almost an hour waiting for the deputy to arrive. Not everyone will have that kind of time or ability. This is why we carry.


©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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      • Is the mother stupid? Letting her daughter floats in a creek in Florida? Do parents even bother to use their heads and think? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to think twice about floating in a Florida waterway.

        • Forwarded it to a friend in Florida, and he said if you’re in the ONF, you’re part of the food chain and not at the top. He’d never go there unarmed.

        • When I was a teenager, I went with a friend’s family to one of the Florida parks. My friend and I rented a canoe and went down the river a ways. We stopped, jumped out, swam around in the cold water, had a great time. We got back in the canoe, went past the bend in the river, and got a big surprise to see a bunch of aligators sunning on the bank. Nobody warned us that there were gators, and we had never been there before and had no idea about the danger.
          But, we both lived right across the street from Lake Hunter in Lakeland, and everybody swam there during the day. But everybody knew a gator lived in the swampy end of the lake, and you didn’t want to swim after the sun went down, because that’s when the gator would be out looking for food.
          It’s probably like living in Alaska, and knowing there are bears and elk out there, and you do what you do anyway.

        • very popular activity here. attacks do happen but rare.she is much safer in that creek than walking in her neighborhood. sounds like you don’t go out much and lack confidence.

      • I think the license plate on that truck is from Texas too…… which makes sense if the picture of the alligator was taken in Texas (as someone has already stated here). Maybe this Florida story is true, and they just used a ‘file’ photo??

      • “The photo above shows how big an 11-foot alligator is.”
        That’s in the article. The photo is to show just how big an 11-foot alligator is, not the actual alligator in question.

      • The article states that the picture is just showing what an 11′ alligator looks like, not that it is the same alligator.

      • If you read the article it clearly states the size of the alligator pictured was the same sized as the one with the girl . That is why it is dated 2009. It was a size comparison ! They never said it was the actual picture of the gator who got her. This was one in TX.

      • it’s stock file footage – A common practice if a pic of actual incident doesn’t exist
        article said it took place on a river not a lake too.

      • The caption doesn’t say the picture above is the gator that treed her. It says that that’s how big an 11ft gator is and how much they can weigh

    • I’d grill that right up! Make some boots out of it and a gator steak. Wrap the rest of that leathery hide on the seat of my workout bench. Mount the head – jaws wide open, on the hood of my Honda Odyssey! Love it!

  1. The lib gun haters would just rather the 15 year old was eaten by the gator than citizens have a means of legitimate self defense.

  2. AR-15 = perfect tool that got the job done. It saved this girls life. Shit does happen to good people , the officer used his AR-15 ” the so called bad rifle ” yes the one the demotards want to ban as it has no good reason for being in existence. Tell that crap to this 15 year old girls mother who could very much be another statistic if not for the AR-15. Thank God for this officer & his rifle. I’m glad this had the outcome it did !! I’m also glad we have the 2nd amendment , protect our rights to keep and bear arms !!

  3. I understand that shotguns are the preferred tool against gators because a gator’s brain is so small that it is easy to miss with a bullet. Such a primitive creature.
    Many years ago I worked at a country club in New Orleans, and one day the alligator that lived in one of the ponds was caught out on dry land. It was just about this big. I’m not entirely sure why they dispatched it, but the security guards were pretty happy that they had. I mean, it wasn’t eating any of the golfers or anything like that…

    • “…because a gator’s brain is so small that it is easy to miss with a bullet. Such a primitive creature.”

      About the size of a walnut, and located about 8 inches *behind* the eyes.

      (If you ever want to *really* piss off an alligator, shoot it “right between the eyes”.)

      “Many years ago I worked at a country club in New Orleans, and one day the alligator that lived in one of the ponds was caught out on dry land. It was just about this big. I’m not entirely sure why they dispatched it,…”

      It wasn’t really an option, at that point. The only good, living alligator is one afraid of humans.

      If they lost that fear, the golfers wouldn’t be safe. (Well, as safe as anyone could be in close proximity to a living adult alligator.)

      You went to Tulane, Mark?

      • ” I mean, it wasn’t eating any of the golfers or anything like that…”

        They usually don’t eat people right away, their standard feeding maneuver is to drag the prey into the water, roll repeatedly until they drown, then stash the dead meat underwater in some structure of some type, like tree roots. Then return later at their leisure to eat.

        That’s what a gator did to that kid that was killed by a gator at Disney World awhile back. The kid was was found the next day, hung up in some mangrove roots, but for all practical purposes, intact.

        I don’t know about you, but I’ll take being killed by drowning any day over being dismembered and eaten alive…

  4. A good outcome but a cop shot the gator…leftard’s are(sometimes!) cool with the po-leece saving their worthless butt. This doesn’t benefit non-cops. They still hate us.

  5. Just a clarification on the timeline. According to other published reports, the girl was in the tree for 30 minutes BEFORE her mother called 911. I read that the deputy arrived shortly there after, not 60 minutes after the 911 call. I wouldn’t berate the Lake County Sheriff’s Office unless there is more information.
    Instead of waiting 30 minutes withyour daughter hanging on for dear life, call 911 immediately, or better yet, use your own firearm to protect your family as soon as necessary and call 911.

    “She climbed a tree at a nearby boat landing to escape the gator, but it stayed under the tree and hissed at her for about a half-hour.
    It became apparent to the girl’s family that the gator was not going to go away so 911 was called. Other gators also were in the area.”

  6. I heard that David Hogg is doing ok. He evidently survived both the initial gator attack AND the secondary attack from the AR.

    • @ Ranger Mike
      Too damn bad Hogg boy really wasn’t a victim of the gator. I swear if he got eaten / bit, not a single care in the world would cross my thoughts. It’s not considerate hoping something bad happens to folks but honestly, hoping Feinstein, Pelosi, Hildabeast, Hogg boy and all the other idiots like Piers Morgan have a most unfortunate accident, what’s there to say?

      • I honestly hold no hatred for those particular individuals. I was raised to respect firearms and learned how to care for them at a young age. Plus I learned about gun safety, hunting, and the privelages afforded to us under the 2nd amendment. Those values have been carried with me through adulthood. The others that you speak of likely had no such upbringing and are ignorant and indeed pose a danger to our liberties and individual freedoms. Yet I choose not to hate them.

        • I don’t hate them, I don’t hate nobody. I just hope they fall down and break an arm or something. Hogg boy getting eaten by an gator? OMG, that would break my heart!

        • That’s where you become the stupid one. They don’t give a shit about you or how you are raised. They only care that they are in control and we are the defenseless citizen slaves under their gun toting asses.

  7. If Marlin Perkins was there, we would have Jim Fowler wrestling the dangerous animal in the water negating any reason to use an AR

    • MLee, great Wild Kingdom reference from the past.

      I can still visualize the opening sequence with Jim wrestling that giant anaconda in the river. My friends used to satirically joke, in Marlin Perkin’s deadpan voice “My assitant Jim will now circumcise the water buffalo while hanging out of the jeep at 30 mph.” They don’t make nature shows like that anymore. (Yes, my family enjoys the Jim Fowler’s current nature shows.)

      • After I posted that and got ready to run to the store, I started to think that most here aren’t going to have a clue what I’m talking about ….except for a few of us cranky old farts that is. 😉

        • Jim came to my elementary school and did an animal show. He had this great big white owl with a wingspan of just over 6 feet. Very impressive. And a falcon that flew from the state to the back of the room. IT was all very cool.

    I can see the MSM headline right now (sarc off),

  9. “.22 caliber Dinosaur Killer !? ” *(Must wait for someone to comment about this Creedmor 6.5….Probably someone will say ; “It made the Dinosaurs extinct !”)* Just waiting for the comments to take off….Lol…..

  10. My mother would have told me or my brother to kill that lizard and get our sister out of the tree. Dad would have got an ear full for moving us to gator country when he got home from work that evening.

    • It’s OK.

      You see, the 5.56 self-identified as being a 6.5 Creedmor, and the gator died before the bullet even got there…

      • “See! See! I knew it! Can’t say I didn’t tell ya so! Lol! The One that made Dinosaurs extinct!

    • Well I read on the internet or saw it on CNN that those AR 15s are super duper dangerous, are fully semi-automatic, can shoot through tanks and can kill a room full of people in a matter of seconds and you can buy one at a gun show with no background check or on the internet also with no background check. There should be a law! I’m just ……………………shocked!

    • An adequate offense w/ a good mix of pass and run does the job. It worked last year for a wolverine, a bulldog, and a glorified chicken.

  11. So much for .223 Rem. being under powered. Just goes to show that barrel length and bullet type have a large effect on the capability of the round. I believe many of the non-kills with 5.56 have come from 14.5″ barrel 62 grain 5.56 at mid-range distances. There’s not enough velocity to induce yaw and instability when the bullet hits the tissue, instead causing the bullet to go straight through. Which is why I have three mags loaded at the ready in my safe, one with 55gr soft points (non-fragmenting), a 2nd mag with 69gr hpbt, and a 3rd with standard 55 gr fmj.

    • I would say shot placement had more to do with it than anything. Miss the brain on a shot like that and you’ve now got a very pissed off gator on your hands.
      My family and I were watching a nature show the other day and there was a gator on there that had his upper jaw ripped off by a larger gator. Turns out they are basically immune to infections and their bleeding stops up fast so it was able to survive. Amazing and beautiful creatures, but you’ll never find me in water they’re known to inhabit.

      • Nothing beautiful or amazing about those ugly a** holdovers from the dinosaur ages! I’m for killing every damned last one of those nightmare beasts they can find. I will never set foot in any state they inhabit.

  12. I would think that any creek in that area of Fla has gators. Some people can not afford swimming pools or air conditioning, that would be the only way to stay cool – not my idea of a vacation.
    It is 120F inside the camper, there is no shade anywhere and the biting insects are everywhere, and the leeches will get you if you go into the water – just a paradise on earth.

    • “I would think that any creek in that area of Fla has gators.”

      The ‘locals’ here in Florida assume *any* body of water, even artificial like fountains or swimming pools, may have a ‘gator in there.

      But no, every year we here about some Yankee transplant or vacationer that stupidly decides to walk their yap-dog near a pond and gets to watch nature up-close-and-personal as their little doggie turns into an alligator snack.

      The smart ones let go of the leash…

      • “The smart one’s Problably have a Large S&W Revolver chamber in this 6.5 Creedmor…And dispatched the critter with the force of an advanced kinetic energy weapon…Leaving a crater, and a pulpy , liquid mist in its wake…Folllowed by a sonic BOOM and Shockwave….”

  13. Why didn’t Al E. Gaighter just use its Creedmor derringer and shoot the branch off the tree? Was it unarmed? why?
    Why didn’t it just go to the nearest site of a boating accident and dive down and grab a handfull of the lost “assault weapons”? Was it a prohibited person that couldn’t purchase a firearm? Was it because it liked to swim naked under young girls hang from a tree, like fresh fruit?
    (I have to go take a bath now!)

  14. Just to clarify an earlier comment. An alligator does take its victim into a “death roll” to drown it then puts the body under a stump, log or root. This is so the body want bloat and float away. An alligator’s jaw cannot chew new meat. It must decompose some first so it can tear the flesh away, raise their head and allow the flesh to slide down their throat. I know this sounds obscene, but it’s nature. I’ve lived in Florida all my life (except for the military) and I’ll take a gator over a water moccasins every day.

  15. Sure glad the cop got there in time to shoot the critter. Good shooting too if it was a head shot. Tiny little reptile brain, not a big target!

    Just amazes me that people would go to a place with alligators running wild, play in the water, not carry a gun, just unbelievable. That dinosaur should have had a dozen holes shot in its head before anybody had a chance to dial 911.

  16. I went canoeing in Florida at Jonathan Dickinson park a few times. I carried my 9mm too. Two mags of 9mm would clear out a few gators.

  17. Pic of gator ,ok but be better if in Florida. Where’s the Mangroves .. no White Sand. Sure thing s happen,and she is ok, put the right pic with story. I have lived in Florida

  18. i see the date as well… but what kind of parent allows their children to mswim or float in gator infested waters?

  19. Girl is lucky to be alive, she kept her cool and did everything she could to save herself.
    Glad the Deputy shot alligator. And if a civilian had shot that alligator I bet he’d be cited by Fish & Wildlife for shooting the poor endangered critters.

    This is the 4th or 5th human attack I’ve heard of in the last 2 years. Alligators are not endangered and they need to be shot on sight.

  20. So, your one lame reason to allow ordinary citizens to walk around /ride around carrying AR-15’s is to protect some stupid people from themselves? By definition, stupid people should NOT be allowed to own AR-15’s! Now granted, when stupid people (who go swimming/floating in alligator-infested waterways (especially in Florida ) get into trouble and have to call 911, they are hoping that the first-responders arrive with something more powerful than a pea shooter or a pellet gun, but I’m not convinced that even the deputy needed an AR-15, when an ordinary rifle or shot gun would have likely killed the alligator just as dead, if need be–or a tranquilizer dart gun would have likely sufficed to have given the deputy plenty of time to free the girl from the tree and get her and her family safely out of there! And it would have allowed the mama gator to eventually return to her nest of babies! Now, while our founding fathers wished for every mentally-sound citizen to be allowed to arm himself/herself with a gun to protect himself/herself and family members/friends from invaders, they had not the capacity to imagine the technology involved in producing a gun with the capabilities of an AR-15! Also, ordinary citizens aren’t meant to have the Constitutional right to own/operate an Army tank, although tanks do technically come equipped with some type of guns also!

    • The founders did not foresee the internet either. So we can go ahead and eliminate the 1a except for the spoken and written(non electronic, of course) word.

      The ar15 is an ordinary rifle. Pretty mundane, actually. Likely the single most common rifle in America.

      And what is this ‘ordinary’ citizen stuff anyway? The constitution was written to give all the rights and power to the individual. Essentially, none of us are ‘ordinary’.

      And we can and some do own tanks. Artillery. Combat aircraft. There are restrictions on certain types of ordnance and ammunition. But if you’re willing to spend the money and jump thru the hoops there’s nothing at all illegal in owning a fighter plane with functional machine guns. Or even a helicopter.

      It’s always been a scary world, judith. No amount of nanny statism is going to change that.

    • Judith, you are right. Stupid people should not be allowed to own AR-15s nor any other kind of firearm. Neither should they be allowed to vote. But the constitution guarantees every citizen both those rights.

      I don’t believe that anyone NEEDS an AR-15, and I don’t own one myself, but if I want to own one, that’s my right. If you don’t want to own one, that too is your right. I do have a 12 gauge shotgun and a 9mm pistol to defend my home and family with and will regretfully, but determinedly use either if reason arises.

      It is amazing how many gun haters change their minds when a gun is used to save them from a bad guy (or alligator) I believe that’s called situational ethics. Perhaps you should consider calling a liberal politician and not the police if you are ever threatened. Maybe a social program could be quickly formed to come to your aid. Myself, I’ll call the police but probably only to identify and haul off the body of the assailant.

  21. Since I moved to Florida in 2004, I’ve spent thousands of hours photographing alligators and other wildlife in the swamp. When you’re out there you are not at the top of the food chain. You do not hang out near open water unless you have a clear view of everything around you. In my opinion, the mother was negligent. Check out my video about the 2011 drought.

  22. Shotgun would not have worked unless slugs were applied or very close. Even buckshot dosent have a lot of penetration at any longer ranges. Good thing he had a rifle.

  23. picture is dated july 15, 2009. Why are we seeing this 11 yrs later? and why is the article dated 9 yrs later?

  24. I am in complete agreement with the gist of this story about the AR-15. I take exception to the claim that ANY human can hang by the hands for an hour. I believe the established limit is two minutes.


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