Florida man accused of slamming gator against building, says he was ‘teaching it a lesson’: cops

A Florida man is accused of stealing an alligator from a miniature-golf course, repeatedly swinging the animal around by its tail and slamming it into a building in a cruel overnight attack this week.

Suspect William “Bubba” Hodge was initially seen carrying a gator down a street in Daytona Beach Shores around 3 a.m. Thursday before cops caught him “trying to throw the alligator onto the roof of a business and slamming it on the ground by its tail,” authorities said.

The 32-year-old immediately surrendered to police and told them he had stolen the creature from a nearby mini-golf facility “after a brief wrestling match,” police said. When asked why he was attacking the gator, Hodge said he was “teaching it a lesson,” the Daytona Beach Shores Department of Public Safety said in a statement.

The suspect is also accused of stomping on the reptile twice and hitting it against a building awning, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by local media.

Despite surrendering without any incident, Hodges reportedly tried to cause a mess at the Volusia County Jail. Police said he stuffed the toilet in his cell with paper to clog it and threatened to flood the whole facility, ClickOrlando.com reported.

Hodges was charged with animal cruelty, alligator poaching, burglary, criminal mischief and petit theft, jail records show. He was still being held Friday on $4,500 bond.

The gator survived the abuse and was returned to the mini-golf facility.