Man bitten by alligator while playing disc golf in Clearwater

Image 1 of 2

A 35-year-old man was bitten by an alligator in a pond at a Clearwater park Monday, according to Clearwater Fire Rescue.

The incident happened at Cliff Stephens Park just after 5:00 p.m.

Rescuers said the man, Richard Peel, was playing disc golf and was bitten when he was trying to retrieve a disc from a pond. Derrick Moody lives nearby and heard witnesses explain how they linked arms to save the man's life. 

"I guess they ran over and formed a ladder with each other and they were able to pull him out," said Moody. 

The alligator was suspected to be about 11-feet-long, according to Clearwater Fire. The gator was latter retrieved by FWC. 

"The alligator was seen prior to him going into the water, so we always recommend that people stay away from murky waters," said Ashley Tyer, spokeswoman for FWC.

Experts removed a second, smaller, alligator as a precaution for the surrounding community. Residents who regularly go fishing in the area are breathing a sigh of relief. 

"It's kind of shocking to me," said Trent Marshall, a local fisherman. "We've been down here fishing the last few days, god forbid that happened to one of us."

The man was taken to the hospital for treatment but his injuries do not appear to be life threatening, officials say.