Man seized by Disney gator in '86 horrified for boy's family - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Man seized by Disney gator in '86 horrified for boy's family

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Hebron resident Paul Santamaria says he now has twin daughters the same age as victim Lane Graves and is horrified for the boy's family. Hebron resident Paul Santamaria says he now has twin daughters the same age as victim Lane Graves and is horrified for the boy's family.
HEBRON, N.H. -

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After a 2-year-old was killed by an alligator on Disney property this week, a man who was attacked by an alligator at Disney world nearly 30 years ago is talking about his harrowing experience.

Paul Santamaria says when he was just 8-years-old on a visit to Disney World's Fort Wilderness Campground in 1986 when he, his brother and his sister were playing at a playground near a pond. That's when alligator came out of the water and bit into his leg. 

Paul still has the scars on his leg. one where one of the gator's teeth had to be removed. 

"I started to take my available leg, my free leg, and started kicking it in the face, trying to get it to let me go," Paul said. "And I don't know how long the attack lasted, it was hard to tell, but eventually it just opened its mouth and let me go and retreated back into the water."

Paul spent a week in the hospital where he was cheered up by a visit from Disney characters. Paul now has small children of his own, about the same age as the young boy who was killed Wednesday.

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