A summer vacation to Mexico took a terrifying turn for a teen who says she was dragged underwater by a 12-foot-long crocodile outside her Marriott resort.
Kiana Hummel was enjoying her pre-college getaway when the scary incident happened just before midnight at the Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa, according to ABC affiliate KGO.
Hummel, an 18-year-old recent graduate of Novato High School in Marin County, told the outlet that she and a friend had decided to go for a late-night swim in the ocean outside their resort.
While they were standing on the beach, Hummel said the massive reptile appeared from the ocean and grabbed her right leg before dragging her into the water, KGO reported.
Despite being pulled under the water, Hummel said she remained calm and continued to hit the reptile as hard as she could until it released her leg. At one point, the teen thought she had almost escaped but the crocodile then grabbed her left ankle and dragged her back under the surface, she told KGO.
“I didn’t think I was getting out that second time,” Hummel recalled to the outlet from her hospital bed at MarinHealth Medical Center. “That was just really bad.”
As Hummel put up a fight, bystanders at the scene heard the girl’s screams and rushed to help, according to KGO.
“I just remember saying, ‘Please don’t leave me,’” Hummel shared with the outlet.
Sarah Laney, a vacationer from St. Louis, and her friends were among those who came to help. She told KGO they were able to successfully pull Hummel from the crocodile’s grip and to safety.
“It was most definitely one of the craziest, scariest things I’ve ever experienced,” Laney told KGO. “Honestly, I will never forget it when the crocodile’s head came above water. I just went into shock.”
Moments after the attack, Hummel called her mother, Ariana Martinez, via FaceTime and frantically described what had just unfolded, according to KGO. Martinez told the outlet she immediately hopped on the next flight from San Francisco to Puerto Vallarta after learning of the terrifying events.
“I’m on the phone with her. She’s yelling, ‘Get me an ambulance, get me an ambulance to the hospital,’” Martinez recalled to KGO. “It took them forever.”
Laney stayed with Hummel after the attack but told the outlet that it took 45 minutes for an ambulance to arrive. Martinez also claimed to KGO that the hospital demanded her daughter pay thousands of dollars before providing treatment.
Surprisingly, Hummel did not lose any limbs from the attack — but suffered “extensive muscle and tissue damage,” according to a GoFundMe page set up on her behalf by a friend to help with medical expenses.
The damage is so deep that it has reached her bones and the teen is currently unable to walk, KGO reported.
“With this amazing second chance at life brings a long road to recovery, healing and emotional trauma,” reads the GoFundMe. “[She] needs a lot of medical attention, but with her wonderful mother and family by her side, she will achieve this, but it also comes with extra unforeseen costs to her and her family.”
As she prepares to undergo a second surgery for her injuries in the hospital, Hummel — along with Martinez and Laney — are calling for better safety measures at the Marriott resort to warn guests about the dangers of crocodiles at night, KGO reported.
According to the group, the only warning in the area was a small sign that they learned of after the attack. They told KGO it was poorly lit at night and posted in Spanish.
“Until that moment, never in my wildest dreams would I have thought a crocodile was on that beach. Ever,” Laney shared with the outlet.
“It could have ended so much differently,” Martinez added to KGO. “That call could have been a totally different call.”
“These girls weren’t warned because the sign at the main entrance that has the ‘warning’ is 20 feet of to the side. Had my group not been sitting on the patio near the beach that poor girl would’ve DIED,” she wrote, in part. “I understand you don’t want to ‘scare’ guests, but the following day there should’ve been big YELLOW signs to warn of the attack.”
“My group is TRAUMATIZED by this experience,” Natalie continued. “That crocodile is a monster and will be back on your beaches until he gets what he wants, do something about it before you kill one of your guests.”
In a statement to PEOPLE, Marriott spokesperson Kerstin Sachl says the company is aware of the incident.
“The safety and security of our guests and associates are our top priority. At the Marriott Puerto Vallarta we have appropriate signage, as well as night patrolling and red flags to indicate caution in the area and all were and are properly in place,” says the spokesperson.
“We review our plans and procedures often and work closely with the appropriate authorities on an ongoing basis and our staff is trained in how to respond to safety matters appropriately,” she adds. “We encourage all guests to be vigilant for their safety.”
Mom helped bury son in Colorado wilderness after stepdad killed him
It took hours of searching in the Colorado wilderness but eventually Nickolle Aguilar, 26, led investigators to the spot.
Down a deep ravine near Rocky Mountain State Park, close to a campsite where she and her boyfriend, Daniel Garcia, had camped out nearly a month before, laid the body of her young son, according to details in an arrest warrant written Friday.
Aguilar and Garcia brought his body with them to Colorado, packed with the rest of their luggage, traveling miles and miles from the San Antonio, Texas, hotel where police say he died after a beating from Garcia.
The couple buried him there on July 25, then fled to Costa Rica, investigators say. But on August 25, Aguilar was back at the site with police, to “do the right thing,” the document says.
A month had passed since his unceremonious burial. Nature and the elements had opened up the grave, according to the warrant, but Aguilar remembered the location, recognized her son’s clothes — the same outfit he died in.
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Domenic Aguilar-Acevedo, 5, had been beaten by his stepfather many times, his mother told investigators, and in the three weeks since arriving in San Antonio the abuse was “extensive.”
Aguilar didn’t try to stop it, she told police. She was “too eager to be in a relationship with a man,” the document says.
On the night of July 24, Garcia struck Domenic so hard he was “thrown” into a hotel room wall by the force of the blow, “bounced off” and hit the ground, the document says. He was in pain, his mother recounted, and began “vomiting a black and brown liquid substance.”
Soon after, hotel surveillance cameras captured Garcia “carrying what appeared to be (his) lifeless body … out of the room and down the stairway,” according to documents.
In a few hours Garcia and Aguilar were in Colorado, burying her boy.
Aguilar said she didn’t contact any authorities out of fear she would lose custody of her other children, investigators reported.
DOWN IN COSTA RICA
Unable to see or speak to any of her grandchildren, Aguilar’s mother became concerned. So concerned, police say, that she “tracked” her daughter down in Costa Rica and paid her a visit around August 16. But when she arrived, Domenic was missing.
Where was her grandson?
Aguilar told her Domenic suddenly fell ill, started vomiting and passed away unexpectedly. She and Garcia didn’t notify any authorities, Aguilar said, explaining that they buried him in a “remote location” in Colorado, then drove south past the Mexican border until they arrived in Costa Rica.
The grandmother contacted the San Antonio Police Department and the FBI. An FBI agent spoke with Aguilar in Costa Rica, and she shared the same story she told her mother, but also admitted that neither she nor Garcia sought medical help for her son when he was sick, the documents state.
Later, in an interview with police, Aguilar said that Garcia abused her son, and that he was beating him in the moments before his death.
In an arrest warrant, investigators allege that Garcia caused Domenic’s death, that Aguilar failed to seek medical attention for him and assisted in disposing of his body.
Authorities are awaiting autopsy results from the Larimer County Medical Examiner’s office in Colorado, but say that the remains show evidence of trauma.
Aguilar and Garcia are facing charges of injury to a child.
Las Vegas Police Investigate Fatal Motorcycle Crash Near Eastern, Harmon
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) — The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department investigated a fatal crash involving a motorcycle Thursday afternoon.
According to police, the crash occurred near the intersection of South Eastern and East Harmon avenues around 1:07 p.m..
A 2002 Harley Davidson motorcycle going northbound on Eastern collided with a 2015 Toyota Camry making a left turn, police said.
The motorcyclist was taken to Sunrise Hospital, but later died, police said.
The driver of the Toyota Camry remained on scene, and showed no signs of impairment, according police.
Thursday’s crash was the 97 traffic-related fatality in Las Vegas Metropolitan Police’s jurisdiction in 2021.
The crash is still being investigated by LVMPD’s Collision Investigation Section
Father Accused Of Shooting His 2-Year-Old Son, North Las Vegas Police Say
AS VEGAS (FOX5) — A man is accused of shooting his two-year-old son on Tuesday, according to North Las Vegas Police.
Devon Lewis faces a child abuse and neglect charge, according to NLVPD and court records, in connection with the shooting on Sept. 14.
NLVPD said around 1:30 p.m. that day, police were sent to North Vista Hospital in reference to a 2-year-old boy suffering from a gunshot wound. The child was taken to University Medical Center, where he was admitted to the intensive care unit. NLVPD said the boy had critical injuries but was stable.
The shooting reportedly took place at an apartment in the 3300 block of Civic Center Drive, north of Cheyenne Avenue. NLVPD said Lewis, the boy’s father, was arrested in connection with the shooting.
According to court records, Lewis’ next court hearing was set for Sept. 30.
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