Story about man who had sex with alligator 'fake as crocodile tears'

Collier County Sheriff's Office warns on Facebook not to be fooled by phony story

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – A story about a Florida man who was arrested after having sex with an alligator is just that -- a story.

The Collier County Sheriff's Office said on its Facebook page Wednesday night that a report on about a man who had sex with an alligator is just a hoax.

"This story seems to be gaining traction on social media, but don't believe it," the Facebook post said. "It's as fake as crocodile tears."


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The story had been widely shared on social media sites since it was posted Monday. It claimed that a man named Rupert Darwin, 59, kept a 12-foot alligator tied and blindfolded for sex. It also said that Collier County sheriff's deputies arrested him.

There was even a picture of the phony suspect and the tortured alligator. It turns out the man pictured in the story was actually David Beckmann, who was arrested two years ago in Illinois on a charge of animal cruelty. The photo was a mug shot from his 2013 arrest.

At least one Florida radio station shared the bogus story on its website.

The lesson: Don't believe everything you read on the Internet.

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