Steve Brefka, 72, attempted to corral the animal after it got loose. The camel knocked him down, held him down with his feet, and bit him on the head.
He crawled under a car to protect himself until responding officers arrived.
"He was stomping me and biting me, and getting on his knees on top of my chest," said Brefka. The 72-year-old said the camel's mouth was entirely over his head.
The camel was captured and taken to the Lancaster Animal Care Center in the 5200 block of West Avenue I.
Brefka was rushed to Palmdale Regional Medical Center, where he received numerous stitches and staples for the bite on his head. He is expected to be OK.
Skylar Dossenbach, the victim's daughter, said various animals, including a buffalo and an ostrich, have escaped from that animal sanctuary in the past - as many as five times this year so far.
Officials said the owner did not have a permit for the camel and now faces several charges.