Man attacked by 8-foot alligator at east Houston park

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Thursday, July 3, 2014
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The man was fishing at Sheldon Lake State Park in East Houston when he reeled in a fish the alligator apparently wanted

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- An elderly man is safe at home after Texas wildlife officials say he was attacked by an eight-foot-long male alligator.

The man was fishing at Sheldon Lake State Park in East Houston when he reeled in a fish. Turns out, the alligator also had his eye on that particular fish.

"We seen the alligator come back up and he was like wait a minute I'm going to give it to you," witness Alex Versace said.

Witnesses say the man didn't look concerned as he removed the hook from the fish. But, before anybody could react, the alligator was out of the water. The gator chased the man for about 30 feet. When he tripped, the gator bit him on the arm and buttocks.

"The gator was just you know attacking him constantly, just snapping at him the whole entire time," Versace said.

Witness Laura Valdez pulled the man to safety, and the gator went back into the pond.

"When he went like that, the alligator bit him in the hand. So I stopped, ran back, and pulled him up and ran with him," she said. "Honored, blessed that I didn't get attacked because it was that close."

Wildlife officials later euthanized the animal.

The man was treated at a local hospital and released the same day.

Sheldon Lake State Park has about 100 alligators in its 2,800 acres of land. There are signs posted around the park, asking guests to stay at least 30 feet from alligators.

Officials there say this is the first alligator attack since the park opened 30 years ago.

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