SAN FRANCISCO, CA (KGO/CNN) – A California teenager is recovering in the hospital after being attacked by a crocodile while vacationing in Mexico.
Kiana Hummel’s vacation to Puerto Vallarta turned into a real-life nightmare when she was attacked and dragged into the ocean by a 12-foot crocodile. "It happened all of a sudden and I felt heaviness on my leg and then I looked down and I feel like I'm getting pulled,” she said.
The 18-year-old Novato High graduate said the attack happened at the Marriott Resort she was staying at. A nearby vacationer from St. Louis was nearby when Hummel was attacked.
"Sometime between 11:45 and midnight they started screaming and so me and my friends we jumped up and we ran,” recalled Sarah Laney.
Laney said her group saw Hummel battling with the massive animal, its teeth latched deep into her shin and ankle. Eventually, they were able to free Hummel from the crocodile’s grip and carry her away from the shore. Hummel’s mom was back home in Marin when she learned of the attack over Facetime.
"I see her crying and asking for help. she multiple times asked for an ambulance,” recalled Ariana Martinez.
When Hummel finally got to a hospital, her mom said they demanded thousands of dollars before treatment. "First they wanted $11,000, US dollars.”
A spokesperson for Marriott confirmed the crocodile attack in a statement. In the statement, the company wrote, “The safety and security of our guests and associates are our top priority and we can confirm that appropriate signage as well as night patrolling and red flags are properly in place"
Hummel and Laney both said nobody at the resort property warned them to be careful. They also said neither of them had seen the warning sign, which was small, mostly in Spanish and not lit up at night.
According to a Spanish-language news report, another women was attacked on the same beach in 2018.
It has been a week since the crocodile attack and Hummel is expected to undergo a second surgery. Doctors expect the teenager to fully recovery, but it will take time.