Two Lake Wales men were arrested Thursday, shortly after police say they caught and killed an alligator on mall property.
Deputies say around 3:45 p.m., Rodney Michael, 41, and Dustin Moore, 28, used a fishing pole with chicken as bait to lure a 9 and a half-foot gator out of a retention pond on the northern property of Eagle Ridge Mall.
After catching it, they shot and killed the animal with a rifle. That’s when they were confronted by a mall security guard.
The men fled the scene, but were located a short time later by a Polk County detective. Investigators say the men confessed to killing the gator so they could make money off of it.
Both have been charged with Unlawful Killing of an Alligator.