10 Foot Alligator vs .223
When a recent argument in Daytona Beach Florida between local police officers and a ten-foot alligator went sour, cops brought out a patrol carbine to even the odds. And the winner is...
Near the 1000 block of George W. Engram Boulevard, officers of the Daytona Beach Police department responded to a call of an alligator. According to an article from the Orlando Sentinel, the complaint stemmed from two older children tormenting the animal (hitting it with a stick).
When police arrived on scene, they found a large alligator inside a retention pond with a crowd gathered around it. As they tried to capture the nuisance gator, it lunged at officers and they felt that it posed an imminent threat to not only them, but also the crowd.
(Photo from WESH)
With no time for a trapper or Florida Wildlife Commission officers to arrive, they responded to the alligator with accurate, aimed gunfire from a .223 caliber AR-style patrol rifle. Reports state that three rounds were fired, ending the threat.
Is it inhumane?
Since 2000, there have been no less than a dozen fatal alligator attacks against humans in Florida. In a shockingly similar 2007 case, a 36-year old man fleeing police jumping into a retention pond and was promptly killed by a 9-foot 3-inch alligator. Witnesses said they could hear the man's agonized screaming before he disappeared underwater. Therefore, you certainly can argue that a ten-foot alligator in a retention pond, not afraid of humans, can be lethal.
Taking the alligator with a .223 rather than a handgun is preferable due to the thickness of the animal's hide. In 2011, Kansas City officers watched as bullets literally bounced off the natural armor of a gator.
In many Gulf States such as Texas and Mississippi, hunters in limited hunts take gators regularly.
Patrol Rifles more common than ever in officer trunks
Increasingly criminals are using soft and even hard plate body armor in the commission of crimes, In 1997 a pair of armored bank robbers ran rampant in North Hollywood California for 44-minutes while pistol and shotgun armed officers could only attempt to set up a rolling cordon around them. With 5.56mm/.223 caliber rifles steadily increasing in popularity since the 1980s, many departments are augmenting officers with AR-style semi-autos and Mini-14s. In the past few decades, the whole subset of NRA and FLETC certified patrol carbine instructors and training schools have opened to teach the boys in blue the best way to handle these guns.
Maybe officers in Florida will get gator shaped targets in their next qual.