The gator grabbed the 13-year-old’s foot and tried to pull him into the water
A 13-year-old Florida boy is recovering after an alligator attacked him while he swam with his friends in Winter Springs.
"Once he grabbed on, I knew that if he didn't let go, there was no getting him off because his jaw was so tied on. There's no getting out of that," Gabriel Klimis told Fox 35.
Gabriel had been swimming with his his friends at Howell Creek Trestle when he decided to jump off a rope swing one last time.
"One of my feet was on the sand and then the gator got my other one and then pulled me back,” Gabriel said.
He said he tried to stay out of the water by grabbing and holding on to a stick, and he fought back.
"He kept pulling, so then I just tried to hit him… and then he let go... and then I ran up as fast as I could," Gabriel said.
He ran to a nearby house to ask for help and then called his mother, who was shocked by what her son told her.
"Complete shock. Terror, of course. Super scared. I told him to call 911 and I would be right there," Allison Klimis said.
Medics transported Gabriel to the hospital where he received stitches for bite wounds on his right leg. He and his mother are both thankful his injuries were not more serious.
"In the end, I'm just blessed, grateful, thankful that the angels were watching over him and God was there because I know without that, my son could definitely be gone," Allison said.
Despite the attack, Gabriel says he plans to continue swimming with his buddies.
"I guess I kind of learned my lesson, but at the same time, it's not going to stop me from swimming somewhere else, like in a different creek or something, with my friends and having fun," he said.
After the attack, a trapper captured and killed an alligator in the creek, but it's unclear if it’s the same one that attacked Gabriel.
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