Geographical Index > United States > Florida > Broward County > Report # 17011|
Submitted by witness on Sunday, December 17, 2006.
Man describes teenage incident -- possible intimidation approach at 2 AM in Coral Springs, at the edge of the Everglades
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COUNTY: Broward County
LOCATION DETAILS: it is in the story
NEAREST TOWN: Coral Springs
NEAREST ROAD: Wiles Road
OBSERVED: Back in 1985-86 my family relocated to Coral Springs from Miami before the Sawgrass Express way was built. We lived so close to the Glades my friends and I used to ride our skateboards to the levy and watch the Everglades burn (at that time, some firebug had set quite a blaze). On some mornings we'd wake to cars and yards covered in ash. Needless to say, a lot of wildlife began to migrate closer to our neighborhood i.e.,deer,alligators, whatever. One night we pitched a tent in my friends back yard approx. 50 yrds from a canal that separated us from an apartment complex and across from that was the beginning of the everglades. The fires had been raging for weeks and people in the area were reporting missing pets, some of which were inside 6 foot privacy fences.
We used to run between houses to cut through to go home. This night in particular, before we called it quits, we played a bit of hide and seek. I remeber hiding under a window box behind a bush and got spotted by an unmarked police car. We really thought we were in trouble, but the police were looking for a person that had been peeping in windows. We assured the police we weren't the perps and went on about our business and went to the tent. 3 kids in a tent don't sleep well, so we were having fun cracking jokes and noticed a sound coming from across the canal approx 100 yrds away. Something was slamming the dumpster lids in the complex across the way and making low deep sounds, grunts. These were tall dumpsters. You'd have to get a boost to lift the lid. We got real quiet trying to listen to figure what it could be. At first we figured a cow got loose and possibly was bumping into the dumpster. But, it became evident that wasn't so. One of the kids I was with turned on a flashlight and started making shadow puppets with his E.T. stuffed animal. Then the thing from across the canal took notice of us for the first time. The grunts were still audible but with what I would say is with a hint of curiosity. We got quiet and real concerned putting 2 and 2 together. Could this be what the police were looking for? The steps grew closer and closer. I remember we tried to figure if it was a quadraped or biped. When the steps finally stopped, the breathing grew louder, then SPLASH!!! Whatever it was was 50 yrds from us and coming right in our direction. We sprinted for the house waking up my friend's family. They were woken by 3 screaming kids at 2a.m. exclaiming something is out there. His dad grabbed his shotgun, turned on the flood lights. He went out to look around and found the tent was demolished and covered in water. I swear I could feel this thing right around the corner in the shadows looking right at us. We did not let his father investigate further until morning and couldn't beleive the tent had been moved from its postion. I have no doubt had we stayed in that tent this story would be much different, if at all. I am 35 now and have never forgotten that night.
ALSO NOTICED: cows don't swim and alligators don't jump chain linked fences
OTHER WITNESSES: yes two others not including parents
OTHER STORIES: there were people talking about the missing pets. I just found this site and read the wiles rd incident and thought you should know it wasn't the only time.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: it was very late 2 a.m.
ENVIRONMENT: close to swamp very dry conditions
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator David Wright:
This witness was interviewed on the afternoon of 4/19/07. In my opinion he is entirely credible.
According to the witness, the police had received reports for several days about a strange prowler seen running between houses and through properties, in the darkness, and possibly looking into windows. He said there were also numerous reports of pets disappearing overnight from fenced yards.
He described the deep, agitated, grunting sounds, occurring as something was going through tall, heavy-lidded dumpsters across a canal from where they were camped.
As the apparent source of these sounds began to approach their spot, the witness recalls their specific discussion about the footfalls; whether they were from a four legged animal or a two legged animal. They eventually surmised that it must be two legged. He described the steps as distinct and heavy. They were just beginning to speculate that it might be the prowler the police were looking for, when they heard the loud splash, which seemed to be something large beginning to cross the canal, fifty yards away.
Their tent was a short distance from the friend's yard. Less than a minute passed between them fleeing to the house from the tent, and his friendís dad coming out hurredly through the sliding glass door to turn on the backyard light.
Soon thereafter the father came out with his shotgun and found the tent "leveled and covered with mud and water". The boys felt the animal was still nearby and they did not want him to investigate further that night. The next morning, they saw that the tent had been completely lifted off the ground, with the stakes pulled out of the ground. Some of the contents was strewn about, as if the tent was turned over and shaken out.
[Graphic below added by editor MM -- Please wait for it to load -- Frame from Google Earth showing Coral Springs, the upper Everglades and Alligator Alley.]
Click the image below for a larger version.
About BFRO Investigator David Wright:
- Certified Florida Master Naturalist (U. of Florida)
- Visual Tracker, Level 1
- Teaches Biology, A.P. Biology, Ecology, and Environmental Science at a rural high school SE of Jacksonville
- See local TV interview with D. Wright
- Participated in the 2007 Private Florida Expedition [Click the video link on that page.], the 2007 South Carolina Expedition, the 2008 South Florida Expedition and assisted with the organization of the 2008 North Florida Expedition. Assisted with the organization of the 2009 Central Florida Expedition.