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[VIDEO] Gator attacks 6-year-old in South Florida

April 22, 2013 at 11:35 AM   |   Comments

April 22 (UPI) -- A 6-year-old Florida boy is lucky to have survived an alligator attack in Boynton Beach on Friday.

Local 10 reports Joey Welch, 6, was canoeing with his father, Joseph Welch, when he ran near a dock, fell in the water and was bitten in the arm by an 8-foot gator.

"I went in it and there was a splash. The alligator just swam into me and clamped my arm," Joey said.

The boy's father immediately jumped into the water and tried to free him from the alligator's mouth. Welch said he punched the gator in the head until more people came to help them.

"I didn't want to play tug of war with the alligator cause I didn't want to get his arm ripped out," Welch told the Huffington Post, adding that a good Samaritan came to the rescue soon and "kicked the alligator in the stomach in the mid section while I was punching him and fortunately the alligator did eventually release"

Joey was taken to Holy Cross Hospital. Doctors reportedly said it was a miracle his arm wasn't torn off during the altercation.

"He could have squished my son's arm like a cracker," said Welch.

After the attack, the gator was reportedly captured and put down by wildlife officials

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