Polk County Sheriff's deputies arrested two Lake Wales men shortly after they illegally caught and killed an alligator.
Around 3:45 p.m. on Thursday, May 24, 2012, 41-year-old Rodney Duane Michael of 4667 Caloosa Blvd. in Lake Wales, and 28-year-old Dustin Lee Moore of 3467 Canal Court in Lake Wales, used a fishing pole with chicken as bait to lure a 9.5 foot long alligator out of a rentention pond on the northern property of the Eagle Ridge Mall, and then shot and killed it with a .22 caliber rifle. Just after the shooting, the pair were confronted by an Eagle Ridge Mall Security representative, and they fled the scene.
PCSO Detective Bobby Abbatoy located the two suspects shortly after they fled the scene. They were placed under arrest and interviewed by detectives. Both admitted to illegally catching and killing the alligator for monetary gain. Both were booked into the Polk County Jail on one count each Unlawful Killing Of An Alligator.
Rodney Michael has been in the Polk County Jail on five prior occasions, for charges such as DUI, Petit Theft, Dealing in Stolen Property, Battery Domestic Violence, and VOP. Dustin Moore has been in the Polk County Jail on one prior occasion, for Loitering/Prowling.