Swimmer possibly attacked by alligator - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Jackson, MS 06/21/09

Swimmer possibly attacked by alligator

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - According to witnesses, an alligator attacked a swimmer in the Pearl River Sunday afternoon.

Fishermen at the scene said a man was swimming in the river near Laurel Street in the Belhaven Area of Jackson.

Police said the 24-year-old was with a group of friends from Clinton.

Witnesses said he unknowingly swam toward an alligator then went under the water.

The search began around three o'clock.

Rescue crews from the Jackson and Pearl Fire Departments called off the search at night fall.

Friends say they looked for the Hinds Community College student when they discovered him missing.

"By the time we got to where we had last seen him some fishermen told us that they saw him go under water and he never came back up," said friend Brandon Johnson.

"We have fishermen who where on the bank who told us that they have seen gators in this little stretch of the river sometime this afternoon; however, it's just too early to speculate what may have happened to the missing individual," said Jackson Police Dept. Lt. Jeffery Scott.

Police have not released the man's name and said the search will resume Monday morning.

According to the Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks web site, Mississippi has never documented an alligator attack.

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