Texas Man Taunts Alligator and Jumps Into Water . . . Alligator Kills Man

2a362b1900000578-3148522-image-m-15_1435969408274In torts we often discussed plaintiff conduct questions such as assumption of the risk or comparative negligence. A case out of Texas shows how dominant such defenses can be in potential tort actions — negating any potential liability. Tommie Woodward, 28, suffered severe trauma after he reportedly ignored signs, staff warnings, and jumped into a Texas bayou after he taunted an alligator. You can guess the rest of the story.

2a362b1d00000578-3148522-image-a-16_1435969413693-1The marina put up signs saying that an alligator was seen in the area. Nevertheless, Woodward ignored the warnings of the employees at Burkhart’s Marina in Orange and went swimming around 2:30am. He immediately called for help and an unidentified woman entered the water to try to rescue him but returned.

Orange County Justice of the Peace Rodney Price reported that “He said blank the alligators and thereupon jumped into the water.”

Woodward was the first person killed by an alligator in Texas since 1836.

73 thoughts on “Texas Man Taunts Alligator and Jumps Into Water . . . Alligator Kills Man”

  1. I’m sure there’s still some cause of action this man’s family could find (even if it’s probably a bad idea to try and sue). Perhaps his family could argue the marina should have done more to prevent the man’s death. Maybe this wouldn’t even be a frivolous lawsuit. However, the publicity is going to be brutal.

    This man’s potential lawsuit excepted, many lawsuits the public deems “frivolous” aren’t that frivolous when all the facts come out. Examples include the infamous “hot coffee” case and the more recent lawsuit where an aunt sued her nephew for her broken wrist.

  2. WHAT? and nobody that reads this site didn’t blame Obama or Hillary? You’re losing your edge people.

  3. One less Trump voter and a prime candidate for this years Darwin award. GEAUX Gators!

    1. randyjet – anyone who jumps in an alligator invested pool at 2:30 in the morning probably did not vote.

      1. Randyjet operates under the illusion that he’s knowledgeable and intelligent.

  4. The guy in the blue tee shirt is a busy man. He just finished beating up on a hammer head shark, leaving it to die and now he’s jumped down the gullet of an alligator?

  5. I wonder if this guy was related to the fellow who fell into the boiling hot water at Yellowstone?

    1. Jay S – it is the same gene pool that fall into the Grand Canyon each year. They are not race related.

    2. The fellow who fell into the pool lost his footing. He was attempting to test the water temperature.

  6. I could swear that I just saw this photo attached to an article (within the last two days) about this guy pulling a bull shark onto shore, hitting it with his fists, and then taking a picture of a baby on top of the shark. I think that he was charged with a misdemeanor. And I thought I had read the story on this blog??? Am I imagining this?

    1. You did. Turley’s interns recycled it. The photo in question, per the newspaper account, is this fellow Woodward and not the shark beater.

  7. I would not wish that death on anyone. People do not make their best decisions while drinking, and since there hadn’t been a death by gator since the 1800s, he did not believe the danger. He must have had a terribly long moment of regret. Rather than mock him, this is an opportunity for public awareness.

    People get complacent around gators, or believe they would be able to see them above the water, even in the moonlight. The last time I went to Louisiana, I took a fan boat tour. The pilot was dead set on showing us a baby gator. So he jumped into the water, over my strenuous and loud objections, and fished around blindly in the dark water until he fished up a baby gator, perhaps 3 feet long. He quite proudly showed it to us, and we were dutifully admiring. When I told him I’d rather he kept all his fingers than get a cook picture of a gator, he brushed off concerns. He’d spent so much time on the water that he knew to keep on the lookout for big ones. I wondered how he could possibly know what was under water that was the color of black coffee. Plus he was clearly feeling around blindly for the gator. But what shocked and worried me was de rigueur to him. I may also add that where we let kids feed ducks in ponds, in LA, kids feed gators chicken legs.

    1. There is no law of natural selection. Individuals have traits, the traits vary, some of the traits allow certain members to leave more offspring than others.

      1. Traits like “not getting in with alligators”?
        Anyway, your second sentence IS the very definition of natural selection.

          1. Oh, I see. You are hung up over the use of the word “law,” What word or words would you use instead? And does this discussion mean that you wouldn’t say (for example) “law of gravity”?

            1. Gravity is a phenomenon in physics. ‘Natural selection’ is a posited process the delineation of which has little predictive value.

              1. Au contraire, natural selection is a phenomenon in biology, just the same as gravity is a phenomenon in physics.

                The one thing left out here, is that natural selection also depends on luck, such as not having an asteroid land on you.

    1. Ever notice that women seldom accomplish anything that isn’t perfectly mundane and seldom do much of anything that incorporates risk or discomfort? Two sides of the same coin.

        1. No. To accomplish something requires focus, drive, daring, and organizational skill. Undisciplined manifestations of daring were this man’s undoing. That women are more cautious (and tend to manifest their stupidity in navigating human relations rather than in taking on discrete challenges) is at the heart of entrepreneurial activity being dominated by men and a component of the military being dominated by men and of corporate leadership being dominated by men.

          1. I don’t suppose any of it has to do with some men actively discriminating against women?

            1. You’d make that argument in regard to a corporate apparat. We’re that the case, you’d see an efflorescence of entrepreneurship by women frustrated by the Big He in extant corporations. I don’t think you’re seeing that.

          2. I’ve worked with many women with the personal kills you describe. Oftentimes I find women to be smarter than men. They have a self control few men display. Their evaluating process is common sense. I could say more, but your opinion of women is completelyansurd

            1. If my opinion of women is ‘ansurd’ [sic], you’d be able to point to prevalent women’s achievements or demonstrations of leadership. You can locate some (e.g. Carly Fiorina).

              Oftentimes I find women to be smarter than men.

              That’s a trivial statement.

              They have a self control few men display.

              Let go of my leg, sister. The most regimented institutions (the military, the police) are male dominated. Having worked in offices dominated by women (routinely socializing on company time), I find the notion that women are champions of self-control to be amusing.

  8. I think I read somewhere that “famous last words” include things like “Oh, look !”

  9. This happened 16 months ago.

    I’d say he paid dearly for an absence of ordinary prudence. No need to mock him after he’s dead.

  10. The wrong dork photo is still posted as the dead guy eaten by the alligator. As to the blue shirt guy: cigarette smoking is dangerous. Hazad to your health. Does that mean anything to you? — song from the seventies from Jamaica. There is no r letter in hazad when spoken in Jamaica.

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