ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Cell phone video shows a hobbling man in only shorts walking toward police. It was shot Tuesday morning in the Lighthouse Park neighborhood of St. Augustine. Police say it was Brandon Keith Hatfield, the same man who they say jumped into a crocodile pool at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Monday night.
"We’re normally up pretty early," Jeff Black of St. Augustine said. He remembers that Tuesday morning his wife saw something odd.
"She says, 'there’s a guy crawling next door in his boxers in the mud.'"
The half-naked man was by houses in the Lighthouse Park neighborhood around 7 am. And 911 got a call.
The caller can be heard saying, "He was doing a slow, creeping crawl, like he didn't want to be seen."
Black remembered, "Next thing I know, he jumps into our courtyard."
The 911 dispatcher can be heard asking, "The doors are locked and your dogs are inside?" The caller responded, "Yes, ma'am. But now he's crawling back over the wall into our neighbor's yard."
Police say this was the same man, 23-year-old Brandon Keith Hatfield of Green Cove Springs, who broke into the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Monday night and jumped into the pool in the crocodile exhibit. One of the crocodiles bit him on the foot.
Neighbors in the Lighthouse Park neighborhood also say their security cameras picked up Hatfield climbing out of the water, out of Salt Run, and onto the land. There’s no idea how long he was in the water… or how he ended up in Lighthouse Park neighborhood from the Alligator Farm which is a little less than a mile away.
Black said, "I’m surprised he was able to get from the Alligator Farm over here with his injury."
When police arrived in the neighborhood, Hatfield was hiding in the bushes, neighbors say.
Moments later, cell phone video captured him hobbling on the road toward police.
"He was wired," Black said. "Clearly running on adrenaline or something."
As for the injury, Black said, "He definitely had three good bites. You could actually see the teeth marks.They were on the top of his foot."
Police say Hatfield was "probably high on something," and his sister told First Coast News he has struggled with drugs and needs help.
"I think it’s sad to see anyone going through what he was going through," Black noted. "Whether drug induced or not. He was clearly out of sorts. He was lucky to be alive."