Tires illegally dumped on private property. Credit: Florida Fish & Wildlife

Double Whammy: Florida Man Accused of Shooting at Alligator While Dumping Tires

Wildlife officers staking out the area say they witnessed the man shoot at an alligator and then dump tires on the property.

The Florida Fish & Wildlife agency said officers arrested an Orlando man earlier this month after witnessing him shoot at an alligator and dump tires on private property.

Wildlife officers reportedly started patrolling the area after a property owner reported that someone had been dumping tires on his land near the Orlando airport. Despite the fence and "no trespassing" signs, the illegal dumping began around March 17.

About two weeks later, officers responded to a call and decided to stake out the area. That's when they saw a man roll up in a van, point a rifle out of his window, and shoot into a water body. Then, he exited his vehicle and continued shooting. After he finished shooting, he put his rifle away and unloaded some tires.

Later, after the man left the property, officers conducted a traffic stop and took him into custody. The man was identified as 40-year-old Arisleyder Reina-Tornes. When asked why he fired shots into the water, he told officers that he was afraid that the alligator "was going to attack" him. However, the officers said they never saw the alligator approach him nor did it approach them when they investigated the area.

Charged for shooting at alligator and other crimes

According to Wednesday's announcement, Reina-Tornes was charged with littering, attempting to take an alligator, operating an unregistered vehicle, and driving while in possession of an open container.

Under Florida wildlife law, you must first obtain a license before taking an alligator, as in hunting or capturing. However, an exception is if the state wildlife agency contracts you to do so. Violating the law could result in civil or criminal penalties.

A search of the Orange County Court's record system reveals Reina-Tornes had prior run-ins with the law. Court records show that police arrested him for stealing tires from a repair shop in 2017. For that, prosecutors charged him with burglary.

Additionally, the Florida state attorney's office said Reina-Tornes would also face charges for trespassing and failing to attach tags for the recent incident. However, the office has not yet released a statement and court records are not yet publicly available.