New Iberia man drowns Thursday night near Lake Fausse Pointe State Park

911 call originally received as alligator attack; case remains under investigation

The Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office is investigating a Thursday night drowning near Lake Fausse Pointe State Park that was originally called in to authorities as an alligator attack.

Maj. Ryan Turner said this morning a 45-year-old New Iberia man died in the incident, and a spokesperson for the Iberia Parish Coroner’s Office identified the victim as Dwight Chevalier.

“Witnesses said the man was drug in the water initially and attacked by an alligator,” Turner said. “What deputies believe took place was the individual was struggling. He was wearing coveralls and apparently was struggling to get them off, and they thought he was possibly being attacked by an alligator.

“But we had no signs to show that he was directly attacked by an alligator.”

The incident occurred about 7:25 p.m. when the victim was fishing from the banks of the bar pits across from Ruiz’s Landing, well passed the entrance to the state park.

“It didn’t actually occur in the park,” Turner said. “It happened down the levee road.”

Iberia Parish Sheriff Louis Ackal said he ordered an autopsy, and the investigation into the incident is ongoing. The spokesperson for the coroner’s office said an official cause of death had not yet been determined.

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Patrick Bonin is the former editor of Louisiana Sportsman magazine and