Two East Texas teens trapped by an alligator

Published: Jun. 21, 2017 at 8:50 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 21, 2017 at 9:59 PM CDT
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WOOD COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - It's probably no big surprise when we say there are alligators in East Texas, but two Wood County boys were pretty surprised when they say they were trapped by one inside an underground spillway at the Lake Hawkins dam.

They were "caught between a spillway and an alligator place".

Lake Hawkins is known for its relatively clear water. Many say it's a placid place. But lake residents like Mike Coker say they share the water with wildlife, including alligators.

"There are a number of them here especially in the swampy areas on the north end of the lake," Coker said.

But he's never heard of anyone being injured. People enjoy the lake and the spillway area which runs under the dam. Game Warden Kurt Kelly says it attracts fishermen and swimmers, and Monday two teenage boys couldn't resist the underground spillway.

"They apparently had made it up a pretty good ways into the spillway," Kelly said.

And they claimed there was something big in there with them.

"They actually had gotten past this alligator that was approximately about six foot long," Kelly relayed.

Kurt says the animal was between the boys and the exit.

"I think they just managed to get up on a ledge and kind of hang onto the ledge," Kelly stated.

Kelly said there was a seventeen year old outside the tunnel who called for help, and Sheriff Tom Castloo called Kelly.

"He said we needed a boat and so I managed to try to go get a John boat," Kelly recalled.

"Shortly after that, they had managed to get their dad down here on the scene," Kelly stated.

And dad went into the tunnel.

"He got up in there and actually stepped on the alligator getting to the boys. He said it felt like an alligator that he stepped on because it moved," Kelly said.

Moments later, dad and boys were out, and emergency responders didn't have to go in.

"Nobody got bit, and I pretty much think the alligator was as scared of them as they were of it," Kelly added.

Maybe they never heard the idiom "curiosity killed the cat", but perhaps in their case it should be updated to "tenacity trapped the teenagers".

The Game Warden says alligators really don't want to eat us, but they are out there and people should avoid swampy dark places where they may spend their days.

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