Thursday, November 30, 2006


We’ve all heard the stories; don’t go too close to the Florida swamps after dusk.” Better still; just stay the hell away from Florida swamps period, especially when partying. Why you may ask?


Flesh-eating Alligators no doubt. One of today’s top news stories drives home the point. Imagine partying on a beach, maybe over-indulging a bit, and then passing out with nobody around. You wake up as you feel yourself being pulled into the water with something knawing away on your arm. Depending on your earlier partying drug of choice you might think it’s a giant gerbil nibbling away or an alien dragging you down toward his spaceship. That is until the hallucination fades and the pain begins to settle in along with reality.

No, it isn’t a shark that's bitten or torn away a piece of flesh leaving enough of the lucky survivor alive to tell a great story to friends and media. Oh no, instead its an alligator, the animal that resembles Godzilla on all fours and unlike the shark, can attack on land or water and eats not in bites but in one bodily chomp-down. You think pit bulls have vice-like jaw strength? Wait’ll you see an alligator chomp down on an arm or leg and not wanna let loose. Marvel as it thrashes about shaking and twisting its prey into submission. Then, if you have the stomach for it, ogle away as the hungry alligator walks backward toward the swamp dragging its screaming victim down to the depths of its lair. The victim’s only chance of survival is usually to cut-off or tear away from his captured bodily limb and let the alligator have his just reward. Hopefully it’s only a limb and not the upper trunk, shudder the thought.

Well here’s a story that may just outdo what you just read above. I just can’t wait to hear the survivor’s story in his own words. And they thought people were crazy in California! Actually, when I first saw the story and heard "crack cocaine" was likely involved, I figured the alligator had swallowed the man's drug stash hidden near the swamp and the self-proclaimed crack addict foolishly tried to get his sh!t back. Maybe we should be more concerned about crack addicts in Florida than alligators, you decide.

Deputies: Man on crack when alligator attacked
Deputies rescue Polk man from jaws of alligator.

Amy L. Edwards
Sentinel Staff Writer
Posted November 30 2006, 2:52 PM EST

LAKELAND -- A man who was attacked by an alligator this morning was naked and smoking crack at the time, Polk County deputies who rescued him said today.

The alligator had the man in his jaws when deputies arrived at Lake Parker in Lakeland about 4 a.m. today. They were called by nearby residents who reported hearing a man yelling for help
The first deputy on the scene was unable to free the man, Adrian J. Apgar, from the alligator's mouth. It wasn't until 3 or 4 of them were in chest-deep water that they were able to pull him free after the tug-of-war.

Apgar, 45, of Polk City, suffered a broken arm, partially amputated left arm and trauma to his left leg. Doctors are trying to reattach the arm at Lakeland Regional Medical Center, where was listed in critical condition.

"We don't know whether he'll make it or not," said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.

According to a news release from the Polk Sheriff's Office, "The very dark conditions and risk of injuring the victim made shooting the alligator impossible, leaving deputies to contend with their own safety after becoming exhausted in waist deep mud. All deputies made it out of the water without injury."

State fish and wildlife officials captured an 11-foot alligator that they think was the biter.

Deputy Billy Osborne first heard the man's cries for help but couldn't see him through the thick brush and dark sky.

"'I have two broken arms and an alligator's got me pinned. I can't move. Please help me,'" the Polk County deputy sheriff related at a news conference today.

As Osborne listened, he followed the voice through more than 20 yards of brush in Lake Parker's murky, chest-deep water about 4 a.m.

Then he saw them: a naked man crouched down in the jaws of an alligator amidst thick cattails in bloodied water.

Other deputies pursued, following the man's cries, Osborne's voice and the sounds of the alligator thrashing around in the water.

Osborne grabbed onto the man's arm and tried to pull him free.

"We were pretty much playing tug-of-war," Osborne, 26, said.

After about 30 seconds, the alligator released the man.

Judd said Apgar told deputies he was smoking crack-cocaine at the adjacent park, but it was unclear why he was naked or why he was attacked by the alligator.

No one answered the door of Apgar's home in rural community and neighbors knew little about him.

Link to audio of 911 alligator attack call!

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