12-Year-Old Pennsylvania Boy Bitten by Crocodile, Takes Large Group to Free Him from Jaws

by Matthew Memrick

A 12-year-old Pennsylvanian boy is on the mend after a crocodile bit him and a large group struggled to free him from the animal’s jaws.

Charlie Buhl and his family visited Club Med in Cancun, Mexico, this past June. A massive 13-foot crocodile got a hold of Buhl as onlookers struggled to pull him from the beast. 

ABC6 reported that the boy suffered some big leg gashes. After eight surgeries and a month at a Mexico hospital, he returned to the Philadelphia area.

Nothing Pennsylvania Boy Could Do With Crocodile

The boy said he was playing hide and seek during his family vacation. He hid near a set of stairs by a resort lagoon.

The next thing he knew was that he was getting pulled into the water.

“There was nothing I could do. It could do whatever it wants,” Charlie told GMA during an interview. “It was so strong.”

A group of guests and hotel employees jumped to save the boy. Buhl said he felt the animal pushing on the inside of his leg. It was just like someone was digging their nails into your arm.

The rescuers had to poke the animal’s eyes while putting a pillow on its head to free Buhl.

Wildlife officials say people should be aware of their surroundings and assume crocodiles can be present. They say don’t go into the water at night, at dusk, or at sunrise.

Boy’s Mom Blogged About Encounter

Buhl’s mom, Jennifer, wrote about the incident on her company’s blog last month.

Last month, she wrote at Happy Hour Headshot that a trauma nurse named Adrian was a lifesaver. Ultimately, she credits the nurse for saving her son’s leg.

Jennifer Buhl said Adrian even stepped up to use the correct tourniquet when EMTs had trouble with the Pennsylvania boy. 

Adrian’s sister called for a doctor and helped alert her to the situation.

Hospital Tough For Pennsylvania Boy’s Family

Doctors thought they would not be able to save Buhl’s leg. But after a month in the hospital and eight surgeries, the boy can walk and run.

Jennifer Buhl says the resort has taken responsibility, paying the medical bills. She said they are “acting really honorably and really responsibly.”

Additionally, the resort closed the area, put a security guard to work 24 hours a day, and added signs and lights to warn guests of crocodiles.

The Buhl family hopes Charlie can recovery fully at some point. He walks with a gait and is still learning how to walk over the next several months. But they’re grateful their son is still alive.

In July, another young woman was another crocodile victim. Kianna Hummel had to punch her way free from a Puerto Vallarta resort crocodile. The 12-foot-long crocodile grabbed her ankle and pulled her underwater off the beach. The 18-year-old survived and needed surgery later.