Local San Diego attorney rescued his child from alligator at Disney World resort
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — The body of a 2-year-old boy, who was dragged into the water Tuesday by an alligator at the Disney World resort in Orlando, was found Wednesday and his story isn’t the only one like it.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, several tourists have reported close calls with the reptiles, especially at the Seven Seas Lagoon, a man-made lake between Disney’s luxury hotels and the Magic Kingdom.
David Hiden, an attorney in San Diego, said he had to pull his own child to safety last year when their family was vacationing at Disney’s Coronado Springs.
Hiden told the Sentinel that his son was playing in calf-deep water when Hiden noticed a gator approach the boy. He then saw a second alligator close by.
According to the Sentinel, Hiden called the hotel manager, who seemed "unconcerned" with the report.
"If I hadn’t gone down there in another two seconds, my kid would have been killed," Hiden said.
Mike Hamilton, a custodian at the Grand Floridian told the Sentinel that he has always been concerned about the alligators and park visitors.
"There are signs that say, ‘No swimming,’ but no signs that say gators and everything else in this lake," he said.
According to the Sentinel, a young child was bitten by an alligator in 1986 at the Disney’s Fort Wilderness campground. The child suffered knee and thigh injuries, but survived the attack. His parents sued the resort, claiming Disney didn’t do a good enough job warning visitors of the danger.
And that became apparent Tuesday, when a family from Nebraska lost their young child.
"Words cannot describe the shock and grief our family is experiencing over the loss of our son. We are devastated and ask for privacy during this extremely difficult time. To all of the local authorities and staff who worked tirelessly these past 24 hours, we express our deepest gratitude," according to a statement released from the family to ABC News.
Walt Disney World’s president, George A. Kalogridis, offered a statement regarding the tragic accident:
“There are no words to convey the profound sorrow we feel for the family and their unimaginable loss. We are devastated and heartbroken by this tragic accident and are doing what we can to help them during this difficult time.
On behalf of everyone at Disney, we offer them our deepest sympathy.”