Video shows Army vet catching alligator in trash can outside Florida home

A U.S. Army veteran from Philadelphia recently went viral after video showed him facing off with an alligator. Eugene Bozzi’s children were playing outside of his Orange County, Florida home on Tuesday.

“They were on bikes, they were on skates, they were having a good time. Then they hear hissing,” 36-year-old Bozzi told ABC News. Bozzi’s kids  knew the noise was coming from the bushes in a neighbor’s yard.

“My daughter came and got me. I couldn’t really see it, so I got close up on it, and he backed up a little bit, and I was like, ‘he’s kind of big,’” Bozzi said after going face-to-face with the alligator.

The father immediately jumped into action.

“I was gonna put my shoes on. I had flip-flops on; everybody’s making fun of me (for that),” Bozzi said.  Bozzi went toe-to-toe with the alligator while wearing in flip-flops using a trash can.

“Let me get the trash can!” he said.

It was a showdown between a gator and a guy with his garbage can.

With the trash can, Bozzi was able to back the gator up. He flipped up the can’s lid and waited for the alligator to approach.

Once the alligator’s head entered the trash can, Bozzi flipped the lid down.

“It felt like two six-year-old boys trying to get out of there. You know six-year-old boys, you can’t hold them down,” Bozzi told WPVI-TV in Philadelphia.

The North Philly native, still in flip-flops, walked the gator across the street and down the hill.

He eventually rolled the trash can to the edge of the water, quickly dropped it and ran away. The gator slowly made its way out of the trash can. Bozzi returned and pushed the can, which gave the alligator a nudge to get into the water. He then grabbed his trash can back.

He said there was only one moment when he was scared.

“When I got down to the hill, I thought ‘if I’m dropping him off, there might be three more in the bushes,’” Bozzi said.

Bozzi  neighbors and the millions who have seen the video have called Bozzi a hero.

“I love all animals. I don’t care how vicious they are, how heavy they are, how small they are; we’re connected somehow. We’re on this planet. I think it was my duty to protect everybody and the animal came out alright,” Bozzi said.

Bozzi who has only lived in Florida for a year, has been getting calls to be a guest on talk shows after the video has gone viral.

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