Alligator Bites Off Man's Arm During A Mental Breakdown That Led Him Into Lake: Cops
Family members are trying to raise money to cover a prosthetic arm for a Florida man, who had most of it bitten clean off in an alligator attack after he reportedly suffered a mental breakdown
Officials said they were called to a Lakeland home on Wednesday night in response to 21-year-old Jesse Kinsinger's "psychological issues."
His mom, Rena Tomlin, had needed assistance enacting the Baker's Act, a Florida statute that specifies an individual can be involuntarily subjected to a mental health evaluation for up to three days if he or she becomes a harm to him or herself, officials explained.
Sgt. Gary Gross of the Lakeland Police Department told InsideEdition.com that even though Tomlin never went into detail about Kinsinger's condition, his "incoherent babbling" was something she had been reportedly dealing with.
In an interview with the Orlando Sentinel, Tomlin said Kinsinger was suffering from PTSD stemming from an armed home invasion two years ago.
As cops arrived on the scene, Gross said Kinsinger "bolted" from the apartment complex and into a wooded area with a lake nearby: "He knew that law enforcement were looking for him."
Officers called in helicopters and bloodhounds to help locate the man, but in the hour-long search, he was only spotted twice -- once on the opposite side of a lake, and the next time, he was back on the shoreline near his apartment.
When officers spotted him, Gross said "they discovered him laying on the shoreline with three-fourths of his left arm missing from an apparent alligator incident."
Gross said it appeared that his hand, as well as six or seven inches of his arm, were torn right off.
A man who claims to be his brother-in-law wrote on their GoFundMe campaign, "I jumped over the railing to get to him last night, when he told me 'My hand hurts.' I asked him what hand he was talking about, and when he lifted his arm, there was nothing but meat and bone. There wasn't a single thing left."
His younger brother, Logan Kinsinger, also wrote on Facebook: "I stopped the bloodflow with a shirt and had to rap (sic) it around bone... his arm was gone and was seconds away from bleeding out. But I guess my shirt stopped the bleeding enough."
"I'm trying to get this visual out of my head," Gross told InsideEdition.com, as he described the scene, also pointing out that located nearby where they found him was a sign that stated, "Caution! Alligators frequent the area!"
It was immediately clear to officers on the scene that it was the result of an alligator bite, although the injury appeared tame enough to be a warning, rather than an attack: "Mating season is May to June. When you get near a nest, it doesn't take much to get a defensive bite back."
According to their GoFundMe campaign, Kinsinger is also left-handed.
"(His mother) was devastated, obviously," Gross told InsideEdition.com.
Although wounded, Gross said he was lucky to be alive: "Probably within minutes he would have been dead with that much blood loss. Quick response saved his life."
They immediately transported him to Lakeland Regional Health Center, where Kinsinger underwent surgery late Thursday afternoon, according to the GoFundMe page.
"Hes gonna live. But hes (sic) not gonna want to if he has one arm...." his brother Logan, who said he can't think about the events without crying, wrote on Facebook.