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Gator Attacks Man Cleaning Trash Near Lake

Worker Pulled Underwater While Picking Up Garbage

POSTED: Friday, January 30, 2009

UPDATED: 11:08 am EST January 30, 2009

A worker picking up trash in Lake Worth, Fla., was attacked by an alligator and dragged underwater, deputies said.It happened Tuesday afternoon along Lake Osbourne, television station WPBF reported.Deputies said a worker was on the bank using a skimmer and tongs to pick up debris when a gator came from the water and dragged the man into the lake.Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Captain John Carroll said the man — later identified by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission as Raymundo Velasco — was able to fight off the gator and climb back to shore.A passerby, Annalei Kuebler, said she went up to Velasco to ask him a question and he held up his arm, which was bleeding and wrapped in a plastic bag. Kuebler said that Velasco had gone back to work after being attacked.Velasco, 48, was airlifted to Delray Beach Medical Center with injuries to his hand, authorities said.A trapper hired by the FWC quickly came to the scene to hunt the gator.Authorities believe the gator is between 8 and 10 feet long.

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