NORCO (CBSLA) — Once bitten and twice shy?
Bryce Russell, 19, of Norco doesn’t seem to be all that shy when it comes to talking about his too-close encounter with a rattlesnake Sunday.
It was a baby snake, but one big enough to carry enough venom to kill.
He related the experience to CBS2/KCAL9’s Nicole Comstock and seemed rather matter-of-fact about it.
“I mean they’re tucked up, but you can see where they pop out when they strike,” Russell says.
He is talking about the snake’s fangs. He showed Comstock the fangs that dug into his foot. Small snake, big surprise.
It had to be a bit scary, she asked.
“Yeah,” he says, “it was certainly a little uncomfortable. I wasn’t really expecting that.”
He had already walked in and out of the house, as had some of his family members.
They live right next to hills with hiking trails. But none of the family noticed the rattle snake — about 18 inches long — coiled up on the corner of their shaded porch on the scorching hot day.
While the snake planned a nap, Russell planned activities.
“I was going to go dirt bike riding with one of my friends so I was looking for car keys and that’s when it gets me,” Russell says, “I was texting him and that’s when it bit me.”
Russell’s mom used a garden hose to spray the snake away from the door so she could get back inside the house. His 24-year-old sister called 911 and then found the courage to grab a shovel and kill the snake.
The venom started to work almost immediately.
“My face and lips and tongue got a little tingly,” he recalls.
First responders were also caught on camera coming to his aid. They quickly checked his vital signs and loaded him onto a gurney.
“You can see my foot’s bleeding a decent amount for how small the hole was. I guess the venom kind of messes up your clotting,” Russell says.
He had a two-day stay at a local hospital where he received many anti-venom treatments.
“I’m just glad it’s over with,” he says.
His sister is making a belt out of the snake and he’s keeping the head as a souvenir.
Russell didn’t really have time to react before the snake bit him, but he says his story is a reminder that if you encounter a rattlesnake, to give it space.