A man looking for Frisbees along a Florida lakeshore was found dead Tuesday in an incident police are investigating as an “apparent” alligator attack, authorities said.
Largo police on Wednesday identified the victim as 47-year-old Sean Thomas McGuinness, who died in the incident at Taylor Lake in John S. Taylor Park.
“At this time, detectives believe the victim was looking for frisbees in the water and a gator was involved,” Largo police said on Tuesday. “There are posted signs of no swimming in the lake.”
Police on Wednesday said they believe McGuinness was killed Monday night before a dog walker found the victim’s body on the shoreline at 8 am on Tuesday.
“While the medical examiner will determine the exact cause of death, it was apparent that McGuinness suffered injuries related to alligators in the lake,” police said in a statement.
“Detectives believe this occurred in the nighttime hours as McGuinness did not appear to have been in the lake for a long period of time before he was discovered 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 of Tampa was recording when trappers tracked down and removed an alligator from the water Tuesday evening, the station reported.
The reptile was euthanized, and a necropsy will be performed to determine if it was involved in the attack, WFLA said.
Florida Fish and Wildlife said in a statement, “Our sincere 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 number of throws to put a disc in each basket along the course wins.
Some park regulars told WFLA it isn’t unusual to see people fishing in the water for discs that went off-course, despite the park’s warnings that suggest mortal danger could exist below the surface.
Dennis Romero contributed.