ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - A St. Augustine Alligator Farm zookeeper was fired Wednesday morning after tweeting his desire to push "Kent State gun girl," Kaitlin Bennett into an alligator pit, The Daily Caller reported.
Bennett came into the public eye when she posed with an AR-10 in her graduation photos. Since then, Bennett has received attention on social media as a Second Amendment activist.
Now that I graduated from @KentState, I can finally arm myself on campus. I should have been able to do so as a student- especially since 4 unarmed students were shot and killed by the government on this campus. #CampusCarryNow pic.twitter.com/a91fQH44cq— Kaitlin Bennett (@KaitMarieox) May 13, 2018
The Daily Caller reported just two days after Bennett's visit to the St. Augustine Alligator Farm, employee Ethan Patterson tweeted about seeing her and his desire to toss her in the alligator pit.
Patterson wrote in a since-deleted tweet, "I just want y'all to know that Kent State gun girl came to my place of work and it took everything in me to not push her over the railing into the mouths of 250 hungry alligators."
Patterson has since tweeted that he was fired from the Alligator Farm.
Hey, y’all. I just wanna say that I did not threaten anybody and the tweet was made made days after and I wasn’t even at work. 🤷🏻♂️ Yes, I got fired. Also, this article is telling blatant lies to sensationalize the story. Don’t drink the kool-aid, y’all. ❤️ https://t.co/RunBvpEtvA— The Alligator Dude (@patter_snap) February 6, 2019
In a statement obtained by Action News Jax, zoo director John Brueggen confirmed the employee was terminated for an "inappropriate Tweet, in which he made threatening remarks regarding a recent visitor."
"Although, we feel certain there was never any real threat of physical harm, the offended party took the matter very seriously, as do we. We are committed to treating our guest with the utmost respect and found this incident to be inexcusable," Brueggen said.
"We recognize that people have the right to communicate on social media, however, reckless behavior can clearly have unfortunate consequences, and any message that disparages our zoo guests or our business cannot be tolerated."
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