An alligator attacked a homeless man as he was bathing in a Florida pond, taking his left index finger, two toes — and a testicle, according to reports.
Fredric Iman, 68, recalled Tuesday from his hospital bed how the horrifying incident went down during an interview with local ABC affiliate, WZVN.
“I tried to get it away, and it tried to pull me in,” he said, describing how the 9-foot gator grabbed hold of him from behind.
“I turned around, and…punched it in the eye.”
Iman told WZVN that he had been taking his usual, morning bath on Monday in a retention pond in Port Charlotte — which is about 100 miles south of Tampa — when the attack unfolded.
“You’re having a nice day one minute, and the next minute, you’re a bloody mess,” he said.
After being bitten several times on his left foot and leg, left hand, and groin, Iman managed to escape the gator’s jaws and trek up to a nearby surgery center, where a worker called police.
“It ate his toes off,” the employee said, while speaking to a 911 operator.
Paramedics reportedly arrived and airlifted Iman to a Fort Myers hospital. Officials said his condition improved from serious to stable on Tuesday.
Strangely, the sexagenarian claimed he didn’t feel any pain during the attack, despite not being on medication. It wasn’t until later that he realized the extent of his injuries.
Iman, who has been homeless for more than 20 years, said he’s been bathing in local ponds for the last decade since moving to Florida — and he doesn’t plan to stop now.“I was kind of in agony,” Iman said. “What’s been getting to me emotionally is that I’m alone 24/7, 365. And I think being a self-taught physical healing arts professional, I deserve better than that.”
“It’s just what’s happened, and I gotta deal with it,” he explained. “I gotta get back out onto the street, missing a finger and two toes, you know that’s not real pleasant.”
Florida Fish and Wildlife officials said the alligator was later removed from the pond — and was euthanized.
“I’m a little upset,” local resident Lisa Posten told WWSB-TV, in response to the creature being killed.
“People that live in Florida, they know not to go in these waters,” she said. “This is where these gators live.”
Credit: NY Post