Collier County man attacked by large alligator while walking dog

Reporter: Ashley French
Published: Updated:

A Collier County man is recovering in the hospital after an 11-foot alligator attacked him while he was walking his dog.

A neighbor came to that man’s rescue after the gator dragged him several feet near the pond.

We spoke to the victim, Rick Fingeret, over the phone, and fortunately, he is doing okay after being attacked by a gator on Quarry Drive in Collier County.

He also said that if it weren’t for his neighbor Walter Rudder, who intervened, he wouldn’t be here today.

Fingeret was walking his dogs Friday night and said an alligator struck him out of nowhere and caught him by the leg.

Fingeret said he hit the gator on the head numerous times to get him to release him, but wouldn’t let go and clapped on his leg even harder and began to drag him by the pond.

Fingeret said by the grace of God, he saw his neighbor Rudder driving his car and screamed at him to run it over. Rudder took immediate action and did, which led the gator to release Fingeret and save his life.

We spoke to Rudder via Zoom about his heroic action.

“I was driving back to our house when I saw someone laying on the ground, waving his arm. I drove over and did not realize that an alligator had bitten him on the leg and had his leg in its mouth,” said Rudder. “We backed the car out, and I drove over the alligator. It got loose, let go of the leg and ran off towards the pond. Then Paula, she called 911. I got out of the car and I took my shirt off and wrapped it around his wound, which was near his thigh. The second wound was the calf area. He had two big dogs, which were labs, with him. I took a leash off of the one labs and made a tourniquet out of it, and waited for the EMT to arrive. They finally did arrive which was great, and they did a wonderful job, and that’s what took place.”

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