Florida 9-year-old recalls fighting off an alligator
By Austin Prickett
A 9-year-old boy who fought off an alligator after it bit him is speaking out about the ordeal at a Florida hospital. James Barney was fresh from a surgery as he was wheeled into a news conference, but he didn't miss a beat. "It was a pretty big tooth, they said the alligator was about 9 foot," Barney said. The alligator attack occurred Thursday afternoon at a popular lake front at St. Cloud. The young boy told reporters he jumped into the lake to cool off and then felt a tug. Barney thought one of his friends was messing with him until he realized he was fighting an alligator. "I felt its jaw, I felt his teeth, I didn't know what to do, so I immediately reacted and hit it a couple of times. Then it was letting go and finally I had enough strength left to pry its jaw open a little," Barney said. The boy's surgeon says they've given him antibiotics and have pressured washed his wound. While in the ER, the surgeon found an alligator tooth embedded in his back. "They said, 'Hey what's this'...and they pulled out a tooth and showed it to me. I said 'Oh, I want to put it on a necklace'," Barney said.The swimming area at the lake front where Barney was attacked has been shut down while trappers attempt to snag the alligator. When asked if he was going to swim again in the area, Barney said "Negative".
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