A 15-year-old girl is alive today, thanks to a good guy with an AR-15.
On Friday, the young girl was on a raft in a creek in the Ocala National Forest, near downtown Orlando. That’s when she saw what turned out to be a ten-foot-long gator coming at her. The girl, Jordan Broderick, had just enough time to grab the overhanging branch of a passing tree and pull herself to safety. The gator, however, stayed beneath her at the base of the tree, waiting for her to fall.
Nearby family members were unable to chase away the hissing alligator, and the Lake County sheriff’s department was called out.
After nearly an hour in the tree, unable to climb down and losing strength, the girl was close to falling into the mouth of the waiting gator. And then the sheriff’s department arrived.
All it took was a sheriff with an AR-15 to end the threat.
Just after 3 p.m. Friday, the Sheriff’s Office received calls from Michael Henderson of Titusville and other family members, saying that his daughter couldn’t come down from a tree near a boat ramp because a 10-foot alligator sat at the base of the tree hissing at her for more than 30 minutes, the report said.
“My daughter’s stuck in a frickin’ tree and there’s gators surrounding her!” the teenager’s mother said frantically to a 911 operator. “Oh my God! Please hurry! Please hurry!”
When Deputy Mitch Blackmon arrived, he found the girl in the tree screaming that she was tired from hanging on to the branch, the report said.
“My presence failed to scare the alligator away, and it began encroaching on my area at which time I fired one single 223 round from my Bushmaster AR15 killing the alligator,” Blackmon wrote in his report.
The family thought the area was relatively safe, but authorities said any body of water in Florida could house a gator.
The alligator sank into the water and did not reappear, the report said. A Lake County marine biologist confirmed the alligator had died, according to authorities.
Sheriff’s Sgt. Fred Jones said July is when the alligator mating season is coming to a close and residents should be cautious along shorelines or in bodies of water.
“The end of mating season for alligators means that gators are acting more aggressive and territorial,” Jones said.
Here is local news coverage of the gator attack, including the mother’s frantic 911 call.
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