Man bitten by alligator at Weston country club - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Man bitten by alligator at Weston country club

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WESTON, Fla. (WSVN) -- A Weston golf course employee had to be transported to the hospital Wednesday after he was bitten by an alligator, the second time he has been the victim of such an attack.

Rescue crews responded to the Bonaventure Country Club after 51-year-old Steve Martinez was bitten on the hand by a 10-foot alligator, around 2 p.m. Officials from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission arrived on the scene shortly after and captured what they believe to be the same animal about three hours later. It has since been put down, according to officials.

Martinez, who is contracted by the Bonaventure Country Club to retrieve golf balls out of their lakes, was diving off the second hole when the alligator bit his hand and arm. "I just got bit, and I got out of the water as soon as possible," he said.

"He just told me it was real big," said Bonaventure Country Club General Manager Randy Weber. "He didn't see it, he just felt it. He said it grabbed his arm and then let him go."

Martinez then drove himself to The Pro Shop. Someone called 911, but according to Weber, he was surprisingly calm. "He seemed perfectly OK other than he'd just been bitten by an alligator," he said.

Trent Hampel, who saw Martinez after the attack said, "He wasn't panicking. He was perfectly calm. He just had a bit of a bloody hand, right on the top of his hand. It was cut the worst. It was swelling. Then he had a minor cut on his forearm and on the side of his hand. Otherwise it wasn't too bad. He was very calm and collected throughout the whole thing, wasn't panicking or anything like that."

Martinez was taken to a nearby hospital with superficial wounds and is expected to be OK. As he left the hospital he spoke to 7News about the attack. "I'm in a lot of pain. It definitely hurts, but it is a rare occasion," said Martinez.

This marks the second time Martinez has been attacked by an alligator. Back in 2006, he was diving for golf balls in Boynton Beach when he was bitten in the same arm.

The gator in the most recent attack was taken away by trappers. Martinez said he knows he's fortunate to have escaped serious injury on two occasions, but added he won't stop doing the job he loves. "These things don't happen often," he said, "and it was just being at the wrong place at the wrong time. I just hope it doesn't happen again. It's a rare occasion. I've been diving for years and years."

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