Monday, Apr 21, 2014
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Gator attacks Pinellas man fleeing traffic stop


Published:
ST. PETERSBURG -

A 20-year-old driver was able to elude Pinellas County deputies at a traffic stop, but then was bitten by an alligator early Thursday.

Deputies pulled over a vehicle that was not staying in a lane about 2:47 a.m. Thursday. Bryan Zuniga, 20, stopped the vehicle, but then jumped out of the passenger side door.

Zuniga kicked a hole in a vinyl fence so he could escape, deputies said, near the 7100 block of 78th Ave. N.

He was found hours later at a hospital being treated for multiple puncture wounds to his face, arm and armpit, police said. He told deputies he was attacked by an alligator near a water treatment plant between Westchester Boulevard and 71st St. N. in the unincorporated St. Petersburg area.

He was released from the hospital and transported to the Pinellas County Jail without further incident.

Zuniga, of 8481 54th St. N., Pinellas Park, faces charges of breaking or injuring fences, fleeing and eluding a police officer, driving while his driver's license was suspended-revoked, and resisting an officer without violence. He was being held on $6,300 bond.

The investigation continues.

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