Wild deal: Customer tries to pay for beer at Miami store with a live alligator

12/17/2013 6:33 PM

12/17/2013 6:44 PM

A Miami man was short on cash and craving a Corona when he saw his cold-blooded currency crawling around at a park.

Fernando Aguilera captured the four-foot gator, tied it up and plopped it into a cardboard box.

Then he headed to an Allapattah convenience store to do some business: offering the reptile for a 12-pack of beer.

“Needless to say, the owner didn’t go for the deal,” said Jorge Pino, spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Owner Javier Herrera recognized the customer, who frequently comes in to buy booze at the store.

“I told him to get out of here, man,” Herrera said, adding he didn’t want customers to see an alligator at his store.

Aguilera didn’t get his beer, and he lost the gator, too. Someone called the cops.

The last time someone tried to sell Florida wildlife in the urban jungle? More than four years ago, when two men tried to profit from a five-foot shark and carried it onto a Metromover train. The shark was later found dead on an Overtown street.

Aguilera tried to strike his deal around 9:30 p.m. Dec. 10 when he carried the alligator into the Santa Ana Market, 3000 NW 12th Ave., and attemped to pay for beer with the animal.

Aguilera told Miami Herald news partner CBS 4 that he’d never caught an alligator before, and he didn’t know he was doing anything illegal.

“I’m not scared” of the alligator, he said.

Miami police arrived first before turning things over to the wildlife cops.

Aguilera was cited for three misdemeanor charges, including possession and trying to sell wildlife.

Pino said it’s foolish for just anyone to handle a gator.

“This gentleman is lucky the alligator didn’t take a chunk out of his hand.”

Join the Discussion

Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service