Eugene Bozzi was thrown into the national spotlight this week after a video of him trapping an alligator in a garbage bin in Florida went viral.
“Somebody’s gotta step up and do something,” Bozzi told NBC affiliate WESH of Orlando, Florida. “We all got to look out for each other right?”
“I don’t know the procedures, so I did it my own way,” he said of the showdown.
In the viral video posted on social media Wednesday, Bozzi, a Philadelphia native who moved to Florida a year ago, could be seen confronting the alligator with an open trash bin on its side in a front yard. Clad in shorts, a T-shirt, socks and slippers, he can be seen in the clip inching closer toward the reptile as it trailed backward.
The footage captured Bozzi wrangling the flailing alligator inside the garbage bin before eventually closing the lid, securing its capture.
“I was frightened when I had it in it because it was so powerful, and I didn’t expect that,” the military veteran and dad said. “And it was pushing itself out, whipping its tail around.”
Bozzi said he moved the garbage bin toward the retention pond where the gator was released.
Since the incident went viral, he said he has been flooded with messages.
“I got so many inboxes, DMs, women saying things, men saying things, people that I do know, friends,” he said.
The wild encounter even caught the attention of authorities and wildlife officials.
The official Twitter account of Orange County, Florida, retweeted the video, saying: “Reminder: Alligators are not recyclable in your blue lid cart.”
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission added: “Concerned about an alligator? Don’t grab a garbage can, call our hotline at 866-FWC-GATOR (866-392-4286) & we can dispatch a REAL alligator trapper.”
Wilson Wong is a breaking news reporter with NBC News.