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.”

Snakes On Your Bed? KNX 1070’s Dick Helton, Jack Popejoy, and Vicky Moore Talk To Expert

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.)

Comments (14)
  1. Mountain Queen says:

    Gee, the guy from animal control didn’t know what kind of snake this was. I’m a girl and I could have probably identified it. See what equal opportunity employment does. It doesn’t allow the best and right person for the job.

  2. hmmmm says:

    mountain queen, nowadays, it’s who you know. If you belong to the same race as the HR staff..they will pick you first even if others are more qualified.

    1. JOHN R says:

      Thats true you know any WM trash truck drivers who aren’t spanish?

  3. vudu says:

    I know several animal control officers and it really is who u know. They aren’t trained in identifying reptiles anyway. If it was a local snake…… may have been a gopher. If it was a pet……. maybe ball python, who knows. But i don’t believe that the snake is sneaking out and randomly biting this kid. Either its a pet he was hiding from his parents, or if it did live in the wall, he might have found it and tried to grab it…, getting bit in the process, but not wanting to seem stupid made up his story……, i’ve had a lot of snakes, this doesn’t match typical behavior.

  4. David says:

    what do you expect from a county agency?

  5. wobbles says:

    definitely a constrictor, either boa or python. Had to be someone’s pet.

  6. vudu says:

    I haven’t seen a picture or im sure i could tell. Description sucks.

  7. heeHaww says:

    They were illegal aliens and the snake new..poetic justice!

    1. shame on you says:

      how dare you? , i bet $1000 this kid was born here “in your face ” ignorant get a life

    2. shame on you says:

      One more thing heeHaww , it is spelled Knew , not new , wow no bad for a once illegal alien huh ?

      1. Uhmmm.. says:

        shame on you, did you mean “not bad”? I mean, since you were going to patrol other posts.

    3. Rose says:

      Learn how to spell. I wouldn’t doubt that illegal immigrants can probably spell better than you.
      Please spare everyone from your ignorance.

  8. BuzzLady says:

    Oh just calm down people!

  9. ALT says:

    Like every news clip I have read on here today so far has comments that lead to it being because of an illegal alien! Lmao! People, people, people! Lol.

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