A man searching for Frisbees by a Florida lake was found dead on Tuesday in an incident police are investigating as ‘apparent’ alligator attack, authorities say.
Largo police on Wednesday identified the victim as Sean Thomas McGuinness, 47, who died in the Taylor Lake incident at John S. Taylor Park.
“At this time, detectives believe the victim was looking for frisbees in the water and an alligator was involved,” Largo police said. said Tuesday. “There are signs saying that it is forbidden to swim in the lake.”
Police said Wednesday they believe McGuinness was killed Monday night before a dog walker found the victim’s body on the shore at 8 a.m. Tuesday.
“While the medical examiner will determine the exact cause of death, it was apparent that McGuinness suffered alligator-related injuries in the lake,” police said in a statement.
“Detectives believe this happened overnight as McGuinness did not appear to have been in the lake for an extended period before being discovered on the morning of May 31, 2022.”
Florida Fish and Wildlife trappers rushed to the scene, about 5 miles south of downtown Clearwater, officials said.
A camera crew from NBC affiliate WFLA in Tampa was recording when trappers found and pulled an alligator from the water Tuesday night, the station reported.
The reptile has been euthanized and an autopsy will be performed to determine if it was involved in the attack, WFLA said.
Florida Fish and Wildlife said in a statement, “Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of the deceased.”
The park is home to a disc golf course where flying discs are thrown into baskets. As in golf, the player who needs the fewest shots to put a disc in each basket along the course wins.
Some park regulars told WFLA it’s not unusual to see people fishing in the water for stray discs, despite park warnings suggesting life-threatening danger could exist below the surface.
Denis Romero contributed.