Guy Mauled by Croc After Jumping in River to Prove Point
Lee De Paauw denies being 'one of the stupidest people around'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 21, 2017 2:44 AM CDT
Photo of a wild adult saltwater crocodile in the Adelaide River, Northern Territory, Australia.   (Getty Images/benedek)

(Newser) – An Australian teenager mauled after getting drunk and jumping into a crocodile-infested river to impress a woman he had just met denies being "one of the stupidest people around." "Haters gonna hate," says 18-year-old Lee De Paauw, per the Courier-Mail. He suffered gouges and two broken bones in his left arm Saturday night after jumping into the river near the town of Innisfail, Queensland, and being attacked by a croc almost immediately. De Paauw says after drinking around 10 cups of "goon"—Aussie slang for boxed wine—he told British backpacker Sophie Paterson that "backpackers are more likely to get eaten by crocodiles than Australians, so we decided to go down to the river and test the theory."

De Paauw says he saved himself by punching the croc in the snout and scratching at its eye before it could drag him underwater, reports news.com.au. Officials have been trying to trap the animal, though De Paauw says he doesn't want it to be harmed. Paterson, 24, says she and her friends didn't think he would really jump in the river. After the attack, "there was blood everywhere and he just wouldn't stop screaming," she says. De Paauw claims that Paterson agreed to go on a date with him afterward, but she says she'd have to be "quite twisted" to be impressed by the stunt. (This tourist accidentally bodyslammed a croc and lived to tell the tale.)

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