Burglar Eaten By Alligator as He Attempted to Hide from Police

Well, this is certainly a story you don’t hear about every day. I mean I’ve written on the bad guys taking a bullet while robbing, but a 22-year-old man in Florida was actually attacked and eaten by an 11-foot alligator as he apparently attempted to hide from police after engaging in a series of home burglaries.

Deputies with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office were told by Matthew Riggins’ girlfriend that he and another man were going to Barefoot Bay to “commit burglaries” late on the evening of November 12.

Brevard County Sheriff’s Office have confirmed that they were hot in pursuit of a burglary suspect on November 13 around 2am.

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“During a search of the area, two males were observed on Royal Palm Blvd,” a media release from the Sheriff’s Office confirms. “Upon seeing the deputies the male subjects fled on foot in an attempt to avoid apprehension. Deputies, assisted by Sheriff’s Office K-9’s and Aviation Unit searched the area without success in locating the burglary suspects. It was later learned that Riggins had contacted his girlfriend during the timeframe of the search, advising that they were being chased by deputies. Riggins was reported as a missing person to the Palm Bay Police Department later that day when he did not return home.”

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Matthew Riggins sought to hide somewhere near Barefoot Bay Lake, according to the theory advanced by the Sheriff’s Office. His decision was apparently about as wise as his decision to burglarize homes.

Apparently Riggins encountered an 11-foot alligator and the gator attacked him, dragging him under water and drowning him. Ten days later his body was found. However, that was not before the alligator had fed on parts of his body, which police discovered inside the animal after they euthanized it.

“On November 23, 2015, the body of Riggins was observed in a lake just north of Ocean Avenue Way,” the media release stated. “During the recovery of the body, Sheriff’s Dive Team members encountered a large alligator aggressively approaching the area where the body was located. Due to trauma observed on the body, a FWC trapper was called and an alligator approximately 11-foot in length was trapped and euthanized. A forensic examination of the alligator located remains consistent with the injuries to Riggins inside the alligator’s stomach.”

The second man involved with Riggins has refused to cooperate with law enforcement. Those with information regarding the crime are encouraged to call Agent Marlon Buggs of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Homicide Unit at or CRIMELINE at 1-800-423-TIPS (8477). 

These is some wisdom that should be brought to anyone thinking of following in Mr. Riggins’ footsteps.

My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause: Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit: We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil: Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse: My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path: For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood. Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird. And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives. So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof. Proverbs 1:10-19

… be sure your sin will find you out. Numbers 32:23

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