A homeless man lost a finger, two toes and one testicle after being bitten several times by an alligator while bathing in a retention pond in Port Charlotte, Florida.
Fredric Iman, 68, said he checked the pond for alligators before taking a dip Monday morning around 10:20am.
But the nine-foot beast managed to go unnoticed and then attacked once Iman was bathing.
‘I turned around, and I know I punched it in the eye,’ he told NBC 2. ‘I tried to get it away, and it tried to pull me in.’
Iman was able to escape the attack, but since he doesn’t have a cellphone, he had to walk about a quarter mile up the road to a surgical center where employees called 911.
‘A man just came to our door, he says that he was bit by a gator,’ the caller told dispatchers.
The caller adds that the alligator ‘ate his toes off’ and ‘it looks like his pants are torn’.
He was taken by life flight to Lee Memorial hospital where he was treated for serious but non-life-threatening injuries.
He lost an index finger, two toes and a testicle in the attack.
While he has told the hospital that he won’t be able to pay his medical bills, they have continued to treat him in his recovery.
After he is healthy again, Iman says he plans to return to the streets of Port Charlotte.
‘It’s just what’s happened, and I gotta deal with it. I gotta get back out onto the street, missing a finger and two toes, you know that’s not real pleasant,’ he said.
He says he’s been homeless for more than 20 years, and has been bathing in ponds ever since moving to Florida more than a decade ago, and never had a run-in with an alligator.
The alligator that attacked Iman was caught and euthanized, which has left some neighbors angry.
‘I’m a little upset because the gator is probably going to be euthanized,’ Lisa Posten told ABC 7. ‘People that live in Florida, they know not to go in these waters, this is where these gators live.’
Posten said she nicknamed the alligator Charlie and looked forward to spotting him in the pond every day, from a safe distance.
This was the fifth reported alligator attack in southwest Florida this month.