Diver Hospitalized After Alligator Attack

FT. MYERS-NAPLES, Florida (CNN) --  A professional diver is hospitalized after an alligator attack in Florida Friday afternoon.  The 10-and-a half foot gator bit his arm as he worked in a pond at a golf course in Charlotte County.

"I had just talked to him about 45 minutes before the attack and he was like, 'Hey I'm about to go jump in this lake and I'll call you when I get out.'" But the call Kaelin Lahodik, Scott lahodik's daughter, was expecting from her dad never came. Instead her mom called with horrible news.

"The alligator had grabbed his arm and started doing the death roll, he was able to punch it in the face and it let go.  He drove to the club house at the golf course where they called 9-1-1" said Kaelin.

Police Operator asked, "are you bleeding anywhere sir?"  Lahodik's wife responded saying, "It looks like under his arm, left arm. He says it's ugly. it's all the way down to the bone."

EMS rushed to the Rotonda Golf and Country Club to help Lahodik.

"It was mostly located on the upper left arm was the sign of his injuries" said Deputy Cheif J. Fair.

Lahodik was airlifted to Lee Memorial's Trauma Center.

"He had major muscle damage and damage to the arteries under his arm" says Kaelin.

Within a few hours Alligator trappers from Florida Fish and Wildlife caught the gator that attacked Lahodik.

Florida Fish and Wildlife man said, "You don't get many over 10 and a half. He's probably 5 or 6 hundred pounds or more. we couldn't lift him we had to use a wrench to winch him in the truck. That guy is lucky he got away from it."

Residents on the pond where Lahodik was working are now nervous to go near the waters edge.

"We figure they could be out there but this is proof that they really are," one resident said.

Lahodick is scheduled for a second surgery on Monday.  His family says that he is able to use his left hand, but he is fighting an infection.  The captured alligator will be either euthanized or send to a gator farm.


Mobile County

Baldwin County

Northwest Florida