10:06 AM PDT, July 21, 2022
Rose Wiegand, 80, died after reportedly slipping down a slope and falling into a pond at the Boca Royale Golf and Country Club, where she lived.
According to the police report, one gator grabbed her by “her right arm and the other alligator had her by her left hand pulling her under.”
A 70-year-old golfer at the course said he jumped in to save her.
“She was screaming. I tried to get to her and she went under,” he told the 911 dispatcher. “I just couldn’t find her. I thought I was gonna die. Oh God, my chest hurts.”
Another golfer came to the 70-year-old’s aid and came back with the grim news.
“I see the woman. She’s just floating in the water. She’s dead,” he said.
Wildlife expert Ron Magill says that alligators “act on instinct when something drops in the water.”
“They interpret that as something like a bird falling out of a nest, a rodent maybe falling in or something getting a drink. And their instinct is to grab it,” Magill said.
Neighbor Kurt Kauffman says Wiegand was loved by everyone in the community.
“She knew everybody’s name. She was just a kind soul. She was a really nice person. It’s very sad,” Kauffman said.
Kauffman also says alligators are very common around the golf course.
The hero bystander who bravely jumped into the pond did suffer a heart attack and was rushed to the hospital, according to police. His son tells Inside Edition he’s shaken, but will be OK.