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Iguana hunter who prompted school lock down in Charlotte County speaks out

Posted at 9:55 PM, Jan 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-29 23:29:52-05

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. — An Iguana Hunter that prompted two school lockdowns in Charlotte County is sharing his side of things.

Roy Wathen says he's sorry for the confusion he caused yesterday.

Wathen tells Fox 4 he's new to the iguana trapping business and was going about the routine that he's been doing in this area for some time now.


He says it never crossed his mind that someone would see him as a danger, but looking back, he completely understands why they would.

A plastic pellet gun caused a whole lot of confusion after a school bus driver saw Wathen carrying that gun near two local schools and called it in.

"Within thirty seconds to a minute, there were helicopters and a good thirty deputies and the swat team surrounding. It was very frightening because I didn't know what was going on, " Roy Wathen, Iguana Trapper.

Roy Wathen says he was checking on a few clients who had hired him to hunt iguanas in the area and didn't intend for this to happen but adds that he understands why it did.

"I should have thought a little clearer about that," Roy Wathen, Iguana Trapper.

Wathon since apologized for the confusion and says he still plans to hunt but will change up his routine.

"Deputies and I have mutually agreed that to stay away from that area with any type of firearm or something that resembles a firearm. I will still work in that area so long as my customers want me to continue service, but with traps," Roy Wathen, Iguana Trapper.

Wathen says he uses the pellet gun to catch the smaller iguanas that are harder to trap.

He also hopes to work with the local schools to teach the kids about his work.