ORLANDO, Fla. — A second alligator was involved in the tragic attack that killed a 2-year-old boy at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, the Orlando Sentinel reports, citing recently released public records.
The child’s father, Matt Graves, told a fire captain that as he was trying to wrestle his son, Lane, from the clutches of an alligator on June 15, another gator jumped from the water and began attacking him.
That’s according to an email Capt. Tom Wellons, with the Reedy Creek Fire Department, sent to two supervisors after the attack and which was obtained by the Orlando Sentinel.
Wellons rode with Graves to the hospital, during which time the grieving father shared “the horror that he experienced,” the Sentinel reports.
Graves and his family were visiting Orlando from Nebraska and relaxing by the Seven Seas Lagoon when his son waded into the water, about a foot deep. That’s when an alligator snatched him and dragged the boy into the lagoon.
The boy’s father desperately tried to save his son, but to no avail. New documents show the elder Graves was bitten by a second gator during his rescue attempt.
Wellons wrote that Graves, in need of medical treatment, “refused to leave the area” after his toddler son disappeared into the water, but ultimately agreed to go to a hospital with the promise of being able to return to the lagoon later.
Five alligators were killed in the search for Lane Graves, whose body was found intact in 6 feet of murky water about 10 to 15 yards from where he was attacked, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said at the time.
An autopsy revealed the boy died from drowning and traumatic injuries.
Following the deadly attack, Disney closed all beaches in its resort area “out of an abundance of caution” and installed signs warnings visitors of alligators and snakes at the beaches. Prior to the attack, signs forbade swimming in the water but did not warn of gators.