What happens when you kick a 10-foot alligator that’s just sunning itself and minding its own business? A 17-year-old Florida teenager quickly found out when he kicked a motionless alligator and the reptile attacked him, latching onto his head and dragging him underwater at Little Big Econ State Forest in Florida.
The Associated Press reported July 9 that Andrew Hudson of Winter Park, Fla., was swimming in the river when he came across what he thought was a floating log. Impulsively, he kicked it.
But the log turned out to be mobile. The 10-foot alligator swam up behind Hudson, bit into his head, and dragged him under.
“It just came up behind me. I didn’t see one all day in there and then it just came up behind me and I felt it and I started freaking out and swam as fast as I could,” Hudson said.
The teen told WFTV in Orlando, “He took me under. I started swinging, I felt his body on me and hit him with my elbow a couple of times.”
Andrew Hudson’s friend, Mark O’Shea, witnessed the incident, telling a WFTV reporter that “it was a big gator.” When asked if he’d seen it, O’Shea admitted he had.
“Nine to 10 feet,” said O’ Shea. “Just came from behind and jerked him under. He went under and started freaking out, and I saw him come halfway up to the shore. He had blood from the top of his head all the way down and I told him to take his shorts off, put them on top of his head to stop the bleeding.”
Hudson said that after the alligator had clamped onto him, he “felt him, kind of right here the soft art of his belly, and I started swinging and he let go.”
O’Shea ran to get help at the forestry station a half-mile away.
“They looked at me like I was crazy. I’m like, ‘My friend really got bit by an alligator,'” he said.
Hudson was taken to South Seminole Hospital by an emergency crew after medics had bandaged his bleeding head.
Several puncture wounds on his head were treated with 15 staples and 22 stitches.
The teen told Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission investigators that he knew alligators were in the water, but he hadn’t seen one all day until the attack. Spokeswoman Joy Hill said the wildlife commission would now send an alligator trapper to trap and kill the alligator that bit Hudson.
In a follow-up interview, when a reporter from WFTV asked if he’d be heading back to the park anytime soon, Hudson said, “Not to swim. No,” he laughed, “I’ll stay out of the water for a little bit.”