• New video appears to show what led to viral gator-wielding beer run

    By: Ryan Nelson , Action News Jax

    Updated:

    Disturbing images are emerging of men handling the alligator seen in the viral convenience store video.

    It appears to show Robby Stratton and others passing the animal around in the moments before he ran through a convenience store holding the reptile.

    On Saturday, Stratton told Action News Jax he didn't know where the animal came from. In the new video, he appears to describe how his friend caught the animal.

    ORIGINAL STORY: FWC investigates Jacksonville man who made beer run with gator in hand

    "This (expletive) had a weed eater in his hand, looked over and found him," Stratton said in the video.

    "I was working and he came up to me and I dove on his (expletive)," said the man as he described capturing the animal from the wild.

    The video takes a disturbing turn when another man appears to step on the animal, then grab it by its neck and hold it in the air. He then shouts, "Florida State, baby! Florida State, baby! Florida State, baby!"

    For the second time in less than 24 hours, Action News Jax ran into Robby Stratton as he bought beer at the same convenience store. We asked him why he was seen holding the alligator, and if he had any knowledge of where animal came from.

    He said he's seen the new video, but had been drinking prior to this incident as well. He tells us he was under the impression the alligator was not real at the time. He told Action News Jax he released the animal into a creek near the convenience store after he realized it was alive.

    In our initial discussion with Stratton, he said he didn't run into the store for publicity.

    “I know I didn’t go out and say, 'Hey man, let’s go viral tonight,'” said Stratton on Saturday night.

    Stratton said he doesn’t remember anything from the night of the convenience store video, citing the influence of alcohol.

    STORY: Florida teen trapped in tree after being chased by gator, deputies say

    We asked Stratton twice if he regretted the incident and seemed to get conflicting responses. After first posing the question, a passerby began to voice her concerns.

    "You should regret it," she told him. "The FWC is coming after you!"

    "She regrets it," he said in response. "They already talked to me!"

    We asked a second time later in the interview.

    ''I definitely regret it," Stratton said. "It was stupid, it was stupid.”

    The FWC is presently investigating the video of Stratton running into the convenience store. He could face a fine of $5,000, or up to five years in prison.

    Action News Jax has reached out to FWC, asking if they are aware of the new video. As soon as we have this information, we will make it available to you.

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