He Escaped the Bulls Unscathed. Then He Went Back for a Selfie

'The impact was unlike anything I've ever felt'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 9, 2019 3:00 AM CDT
Man Gored in Neck by Bull Was Taking Selfie
Revellers run next to fighting bulls from Cebada Gago ranch during the running of the bulls at the San Fermin Festival, in Pamplona, northern Spain, Monday, July 8, 2019.   (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

After taking part in the famous running of the bulls in Pamplona and narrowly making it to safety, most people would probably call it a day. Jaime Alvarez decided to go back for a selfie. The 46-year-old California man, one of two Americans gored at the Spanish festival on Sunday, says he ran most of the 913-yard course ahead of the bulls and scaled a fence to get to safety after they caught up with him in the Plaza de Toros bullring, People reports. He says he then decide to go back and film "a 5-second video scene to say 'Here I am, I did it.'" Alvarez, who was visiting the city with his wife and daughter, was gored in the neck by a bull that ran at him after he returned to the ring. He was taken to safety by a bystander and spent 2.5 hours in surgery, the AP reports.

The bull's horn went deep into his neck and doctors told him it was "beyond miraculous" that it didn't hit a major artery. "The impact was unlike anything I've ever felt. It was like being hit by a car or a truck," Alvarez tells NBC 15. "It was scary." He says he hadn't planned on joining the running of the bulls—and his wife and daughter tried to talk him out of it—but the energy of the festival was too strong to resist. Alvarez, who works as a public defender in Santa Clara County, could be released from the hospital as soon as Tuesday. He says he will someday return to Pamplona, where the nine-day San Fermin fiesta attracts hundreds of runners and around 1 million revellers annually—but next time he will definitely be among the spectators. (More Pamplona stories.)

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