A swimmer who was attacked by an alligator in Florida has described the ordeal after his miraculous escape. Juan Carlos La Verde suffered damage to his skull and jaw in the horrifying attack but lived to tell the tale. The firefighter and paramedic, who goes by 'JC Defeats' on social media, wrote of how the alligator clamped its jaw around his chest and shoulder, crushed his skull and broke his jaw.
La Verde, 34, managed to escape by fighting back, flipping the alligator over and swimming to the nearest dock, where he flagged down a passerby to call for help, reports Miami Herald.
The attack occurred on August 3 while La Verde was swimming in Lake Thonotossa in Florida to shoot a promotional video. The drone filming his video captured an aerial view of the shocking alligator attack.
“I felt the teeth clamp down and instantly realized it was a gator,” La Verde recalled in a Facebook post written by his friend, Bill Berry. “My entire head and upper chest were inside her mouth.”
He said instinct took over when he grabbed the upper and lower parts of the gator’s jaw. “One half of the jaw was clamped on my lower chest, the other on my lower shoulder blade,” wrote La Verde.
“She chomped down again and I felt teeth pierce my skull.”
La Verde described his escape to ABC News in his first interview after the attack: “I knew that I either turned it or it turned me, but it was confused just as I was confused, and then it just let go.”
He then swam to the shore and managed to flag down a family that drove him to his videographer, Matt, who was waiting at the spot where La Verde had started his swim.