Alligator Helps Florida Police Nab Suspect

20-year-old Bryan Zuniga hid from officers in water treatment plant where the animal pounced.

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Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office

Bryan Zuniga in his booking photo on May 9, 2013 in Pinellas, Florida.

A suspect fleeing from police in Florida was finally apprehended after being attacked by an alligator.

Bryan Zuniga was pulled over in Pinellas, Fla., at 2:47 a.m. on May 9 after his 1995 Nissan SUV was seen weaving on the road. He ran from the scene after stopping the vehicle and jumping out of the passenger-side door, reports the Tampa Bay Times.

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The 20-year-old kicked a hole in an adjacent fence and hid in a nearby water treatment plant, only to find something scarier than the law waiting for him inside. The fierce reptile reportedly bit Zuniga on the face and arm, causing him to seek medical attention at St. Petersburg General Hospital.

“Zuniga was found a few hours later at a local hospital where he was being treated for multiple puncture wounds to his face, arm and armpit area,” read a report on the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office website.

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He was discharged from the hospital later on Thursday but had to book straight into Pinellas County Jail on charges of damaging fences, eluding arrest, driving with a suspended or revoked license and resisting an officer without violence.

Zuniga initially lied about how he sustained his injuries and simply told a St. Petersburg police officer that he was bitten by the animal after falling into the water. But he later confessed all after the Pinellas Sheriff’s deputies arrived.

“He just said he was attacked by the alligator,” sheriff’s spokeswoman Cristen Rensel told the Times. “It’s still unclear how he got [to the hospital].” Millions of alligators are believed to live in the swamps, wetlands, rivers and lakes of Florida and attacks are relatively commonplace.

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