Gator attacks swimmer at Citrus County lake

Local News

A gator had her by the arm, but she fought back and got away!

The attack happened early Wednesday morning at Hernando Beach Park in Citrus County, north of Inverness.

Signs are up warning that the beach is closed and no swimming is allowed.

A 5 to 6 foot gator attacked a woman as she went swimming or took a bath early Wednesday morning.

Neighbors are used to seeing gators in this lake.

Stephanie Gibson recently shot video of a gator in the roped off swimming area.

Her fiance tells said it appears the gator patrols here and goes after signs of splashing.

“It’s worrisome. I’ve heard a few people through conversation how they come out and they feed ’em,” said Dennis Weis.

Victim Felicitie Gillette called 911.

“Got attacked by a gator, need medical attention,” she told the dispatcher.

“It came up out of nowhere and attacked,” she said.

“Did it bite?” the dispatcher asked.

Gillette answered, “yes sir.”

FWC investigators tell us the gator grabbed Gillette by the arm and tried to drag her under, but she fought back and got away.

“It’s bleeding. My arm is in a towel. I’m freaking out. I’m sorry,” Gillette told the 911 dispatcher.

The dispatcher instructed Gillette to try to stop the bleeding.

“I want you to press it down firmly and don’t lift it up to look. Do you understand?” he asked.

The lake is a popular spot for dragon boat teams to practice.

Nancy O’Malley comes every week.

“People say there are gators out here and I’ve never seen one. Ya know, never,” said O’Malley.

FWC hired a trapper to find the gator and capture it. The beach remains closed.

Gillette, who is homeless, will be okay, despite a large wound on her left arm. Doctors treated her at an Ocala hospital and released her.          

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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