He Went Outside the Bar to Pee. A Gator Awaited

Jordan Rivera, who lost arm in alligator attack: 'It's not the end of the world'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 24, 2023 1:00 AM CDT

For a guy who just lost part of his arm to an alligator, Jordan Rivera has a remarkably good attitude. The 23-year-old was at Banditos Bar in Port Charlotte, Florida, early Sunday when he had to use the bathroom, per WBBH. The lines for the restroom were long, however, so Rivera tells the station he decided to heed the call of nature in a pond behind the drinking establishment. "I either tripped or the ground below me kinda just went down," Rivera says. "I ended up in the water. And that's literally the last thing I remember."

A rep for Charlotte County Fire & EMS tells NBC News that crew members responded to calls of an alligator attack at around 1:40am, and that the "responding crew treated a male patient who had an above-the-elbow amputation" of his right arm. The spokesperson says Rivera, whose arm had had a tourniquet applied by witnesses before first responders arrived, was airlifted to Gulf Coast Medical Center in Fort Myers. A rep for the state's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says trappers found the 10 1/2-foot gator and euthanized it.

When he woke up, a disoriented Rivera was in the hospital. "I looked over and I saw my arm the way it was and I was like, 'Whoa,'" he tells WBBH. "It kind of feels like my arm is just there, but not there." Although he says what happened to him is "almost out of a movie," he's grateful to be alive and taking the partial loss of his limb in good stride. "I didn't lose my life, I lost an arm," he says. "They got my elbow. So, I don't have an elbow. ... It's not the end of the world." The FWC is continuing to investigate the incident, reports ABC News. (The family of a South Carolina woman killed by an alligator blames the pond builder.)

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