Almost immediately upon setting into the water, the man would be killed by an alligator as a bystander who moments before implored him otherwise stood helplessly by the shore.
Told the bystander via buzzfeed: ‘He replied fuck that alligator before jumping in.’
Reiterated the bystander, Michelle Wright an employee of Burkhart’s Marina in Orange, Texas via KFDM: ‘I asked him please do not go swimming, there’s a bigger alligator out here, just please stay out of the water,’
‘The next thing I know, I don’t even know how long it was, I saw his body floating face down and then he’s up there for a couple seconds and then he gets dragged back down and pulled off.’
According to police, marina employees put up a sign forbidding swimming after recently spotting a ‘pretty damn big’ 11-foot alligator in the water.
Nevertheless such warnings hadn’t deterred Tommie Woodward who according to the Houston Chronicle had turned up early Friday with a young woman, telling the staff closing the marina’s burger joint that he was jumping in despite warnings not to.
Sheriff’s deputies and park rangers found Woodward dead in the water more than two hours later at about 4:30 a.m. near the marina in the 1800 block of Mississippi Street.
Orange Police Capt. Robert Enmon said the man suffered major trauma to his left arm and puncture wounds to his upper left chest.
The alligator attack, the second one in the region this week, is believed to be the first fatal encounter in Texas in at least two centuries.
Friends described Woodword on a memorial Facebook page as an ‘avid beer connoisseur, [who] loved fishing, swimming, camping, grilling and being outdoors period! Hard Working and helped people even if he had to give them the shirt off his back!’
Offered Orange County Justice of the Peace Rodney Price: ‘Whether it’s a speed limit sign on a freeway, a fireworks message, whatever, heed the warning sign, follow that because a failure to heed that can result in a terrible tragedy for your family.’
Authorities have revealed they have no plans to hunt the alligator but a private effort may be launched to capture it.