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Shark Bites Fisherman’s Leg to the Bone

October 10, 1985

GULF SHORES, Ala. (AP) _ Bruce Doss, recovering from a bite to his leg that required 82 stitches, said the next time he gets a chance to pull a shark by the tail, ″I’ll be more careful.″

Doss, a police officer in the Birmingham suburb of Trussville, said he and three buddies were fishing Saturday night from a pier in Gulf Shores when an elderly man hooked the shark, but didn’t have the stamina to pull it in.

Doss took the man’s line and worked the six-foot, 100-pound shark along the pier until the fish was close to shore. He got down on the beach and had the shark reeled up to the shore when the line snapped.

When he grabbed the shark’s tail to keep it from getting away, the fish ″flip-flopped″ and bit him above the ankle.

″It bit it all the way to the bone, on the front and back side of my leg,″ Doss said this week. ″I ran away when it bit me, and when I did that, I pulled (the shark) about 10 feet onto the shore.″

Doss wiggled his leg free of the shark’s jaws, but had to use a pocketknife to free his pants leg. After he got free, one of his friends nudged the shark’s head with a large limb. It latched on to the limb just as it had Doss’ leg and wouldn’t let go.

A police officer finally killed the shark with a bullet to the head.

Doss went to South Baldwin County Hospital where he got the 82 stitches.

″One more bite and he would have taken my foot off,″ said Doss, who made it back to Trussville in time to work the Sunday night shift.

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