PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — A veteran is being hailed a hero after he jumped into action and rescued a man who just lost his arm during an alligator attack.
Jordan Rivera, 23, went to use the bathroom near a pond behind Banditos Bar in Port Charlotte around closing time early Sunday morning. He slipped and fell into the water where an alligator attacked him, tearing off his arm.
PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Alligator eats man’s arm during attack in Port Charlotte, victim survives to tell his story
While Rivera’s still in the hospital recovering from another surgery on Tuesday, he’s thankful to be alive.
Much of that is credited to the life-saving steps Trent Rozier took in the minutes after Rivera was bitten.
Rozier, an everyday guy, did an extraordinary thing that morning: he gave a man another chance at life.
“I just tried to do what I needed to do,” Rozier told NBC2.
He was at the bar having a few drinks and playing darts with his fiance. Then, all of a sudden, he heard a call for help.
“One of the voices say someone’s drowning, Rozier said.
He ran outside to find Rivera in the water but quickly realized the situation was much different.
“He wasn’t drowning. He was missing an arm. So he had been attacked,” Rozier said.
Rivera fell into the pond while trying to go to the bathroom near the water. An alligator in the water attacked him, biting off his right arm just above the elbow.
“He was probably about right here,” Rozier reenacted. “Grabbed ahold of him, got him out.”
There’s a video on social media of Rozier’s heroic rescue, but it’s too gruesome to share.
However, it showcases Rozier’s quick thinking, his life-saving action of putting a tourniquet on Rivera and his determination to do everything he can for a man he doesn’t even know.
“I was here and I did what I had to do — and he’s still here,” Rozier said.
Miraculously, Rivera survived the attack. NBC2 spoke with him from his hospital bed on Monday where he and his mother both spoke about a man they didn’t even know: Trent Rozier.
“The first thing I would do is shake the man’s hand,” Rivera said.
“That guy saved my child and there are no words for that,” said Rivera’s mother, Teresa Lessa.
Gage: “What does that mean to you?”
Trent: “It means a lot. I talked to her every day for the last three days since I finally got ahold of her.”
Now, there’s one thing about the story that we haven’t told you yet. Rozier isn’t an everyday guy.
He’s a veteran, an Army Infantryman who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and the recipient of a Purple Heart.
“I’m just a guy who knew what to do. Just right place, right time I guess,” Rozier said.
At the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing.
Rozier, once again, is a hero, giving Rivera another shot at life.
If you would like to support Rivera on his road to recovery, his family has established a GoFundMe account.