Snake Bites Boy In Bed

BELL GARDENS  (CBS) — A Southland teen has had two wake-up calls this week that he could probably do without.

A sleeping boy woke with a fright in a Bell Gardens apartment today when a snake poked its head from a wall heater and bit him.

“I was sleeping and all of a sudden I felt something on my hand and it bit me,” Arturo Lopez, 15, told reporters. “It happened last night too.”

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Firefighters responded to the snake call about 12:30 a.m. in the 6600 block of Ajax Avenue, witnesses say.

They checked out Arturo, determined he had not been bitten by poisonous
snake, and called for animal control.

“The same thing happened last night,” said Arturo’s brother, Alejandro Orendaine, 14, who sleeps in the same room. “This time it bit him harder.”

The brothers pried open part of the wall heater for an animal control officer to collect the snake early today.

The snake was brown and black with a “patchy” pattern, it was two to three feet long, and it did not appear to be poisonous, said Officer Richard Rodriguez of the Southeast Area Animal Control Authority.

“I had to use tongs and my hands,” Rodriguez said. “It coiled up hard. For only being two-three feet, it was really strong.”

Arturo, Alejandro and the rest of their family moved into the apartment about two months ago, the boys said.

Animal control officials believe the snake had been living in the wall during the previous tenants’ occupancy and hid inside the heater for about two months.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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