Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers were called to a home in Rockledge on Wednesday after they were told a 10-year-old boy dragged a 6-foot alligator home from a nearby canal.
Michael Dasher said he was fishing with his friends from the side of the canal, near Green Road and Fiske Boulevard, when something caught the hook.
"The line snapped," Michael said.
His friend, Kentral Welch, said he thought Michael caught a big one.
"I thought it was a really big fish until I saw his face," Kentral said.
The boys said Michael hooked a 6-foot alligator.
Michael said the alligator ran at him, so he started hitting it with sticks. He said at one point he jumped on the back of the beast.
Michael was somehow able to capture the animal, which wildlife officials measured at 5 feet 9 inches long, and drag it home without getting seriously injured. He did have a few minor scratches on his hands and arms.
His grandfather, Benjie Cox, said when he saw the alligator in the front yard he called the Brevard County Sheriff's Office and wildlife officials.
Cox said after he gave Michael a stern talk about what he had done, the officers gave him one, too. He said they told him that if he was older, he would have been arrested and charged with a felony.
Cox said the alligator seemed like it was in bad shape, but wildlife officers said they were planning to release it back into the St. John's River.
Michael said he learned his lesson and will run if he ever sees another alligator.