Nothing good happens out back behind a bar. I’ve heard of bar fights before, but I’m not sure I’ve ever heard of an alligator attack at a bar.
The tragic incident occurred behind the Bandito’s Bar in Port Charlotte, Florida. The drinking establishment is located near a pond, which is where the attack took place according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
From reports, the bar was rather full the night of the incident, but luckily one man within the building heard someone yelling outside near the pond, so he exited the premises and used his phone flashlight to locate the man.
That is when he saw the attacked victim screaming and attempting to swim his way back to the sandy shore of the pond, even though he had just lost his arm to the alligator.
WINK News thoroughly covered the story, and Jolena Esperto was at the scene where it occurred and reported:
“Well the person who helped save the victim told me he was glad he was there and he was glad an ex-military guy was there too because together, they and a group of others, helped save the gator’s victim, pull him out of the water minus his arm, and helped stop the bleeding.”
Now I’m not trying to make light of the serious incident that took place, but the guy that they interview who helped save the 23-year-old man was an absolute rockstar.
His name is Manny Hidalgo, though the more important name to remember here is that of his pet cat sitting on his shoulder, Mr. Tom.
Hidalgo walks the interviewer through the gruesome scene and what all took place, all while his black and white cat sits perched on his left shoulder.
The witness to the attack aftermath states:
“The gator was big enough, I think he just got a clean cut and took off with the arm and left him alone. He’s lucky to be alive, otherwise that dude would have probably drowned and then been dinner for the (alligator) family.”
Hidalgo then goes to explain how he reacted when he finally got the victim pulled somewhat out of the water, and though he was scared, he still managed to take action:
“I was able to get him to shore, but not enough, so I left, came into the bar, told them to call 9-1-1, another guy at the bar came out, was ex-military, he knew what was going on so me and him dragged him out. We put a tourniquet on him and he tried to keep him (the victim) calm.”
Hidalgo very well could have saved the victim’s life. If no one else would have run towards the screams of the pond, the attacked man could have faced his untimely demise.
Unfortunately, Mr. Tom the cat declined to answer any questions.
A contracted trapper was sent to the location of the attack in order to catch the 10 and a half foot alligator and relocate it safely.
The victim of the attack was airlifted to Gulf Coast Hospital in Fort Myers, and he did in fact lose his arm in the encounter, however, he remains grateful that he didn’t lose his life.
Here’s more from the poor dude who survived the attack: