Lakeland, FL - 30 Nov 2006: Alligator Attacks Man, Rips Off Arm

Adrian J. Apgar, a 45-year-old Lakeland, Florida man, lost part of his left arm when an alligator attacked him Wednesday.

He was rescued by sheriff's deputies who responded to reports of a screaming man. They jumped into muddy water and literally pulled him from the reptile's jaws.

Billy Osborne, a deputy, heard a 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.

The 11'8" alligator was caught. The incident occurred at about 4 AM, according to Polk County officials.

Much of the victim's left arm was amputated. The attack also broke his right arm, and he suffered significant bites out of his buttocks and the back of a thigh. He underwent surgery Wednesday and was in critical condition, sheriff's officials said.

"We don't know whether he'll make it or not," said Polk Sheriff Grady Judd. According to wire reports, the man admitted to 'using drugs', which might explain why he waded, naked, into a gator-infested pond in the middle of the night.

CBS4.com has a video report. For their full report click here. You may also read about this story on Tampabay Live, and in this report, reprinted in the Kansas City Star. This site (TBO.COM) has a recording of the original 911 call.