Local News

North Carolina Man Bitten By Alligator Recovering

Posted July 12, 2001 8:28 a.m. EDT

— A Jacksonville man knows what it is like to be on the wrong end of a wild animal's bite -- and grateful to be alive.

Wayne Petteway was checking crab pots in the New River last month when a 12-foot alligator attacked him. Petteway got away, but not before the alligator broke one of his arms and nearly ripped the other one from his body. Now, one month and seven surgeries later, Petteway is starting to regain use of the arm he nearly lost.

"It's a terrible thing to go through, but if you keep your mind focused on the right things, no matter what happens, something good's going to come out of it. And it's hard to say that for that little boy (Jessie Arbogast) down in Florida, because I don't understand it. But one day, we'll all understand it," said Petteway.

Petteway has months, possibly years, of physical therapy ahead of him, but he says he is just happy to have his arm.