Hellmart Custy Attacked By Rattlesnake
From Humor Me, VIA usnews.msnbc.msn.com
SALMON, Idaho -- When Mica Craig reached down to brush what he thought was a stick off some mulch in the garden section of a Washington state Wal-Mart, it turned around and sank its fangs into his hand.
The Friday encounter with a rattlesnake sent Craig, 47, to the hospital, where he said he remained in excruciating pain and may lose feeling in two fingers. Wal-Mart Stores Inc has apologized.
"I reached down to grab the stick to move it out of the way, and the snake stretched out, turned around and got its fangs in my right hand," he said. "I slung it off and I did a tap dance on it until it was dead."
Craig was rushed to the hospital by fellow customer Maria Geffre, who told Reuters she saw him crumple to the ground after crying out that he had been bitten by a snake.
"He had punctures on his hand and there was the dead rattler he'd stomped on," Geffre said, describing the snake as at least a foot long with four buttons, or rattles.
Craig, a married father of two, said the mulch was for his marijuana plants, which he is licensed to grow for medical reasons. It was unclear whether the snake came from an adjacent field or arrived at the store along with garden supplies.
"It's the most scared I've ever been in my life," Craig told KIRO FM from his hospital bed in Lewiston, Idaho. "I was screaming bloody murder through the parking lot."
Craig said emergency room doctors sent him home because there was little swelling initially - he had iced the wound - and they thought the snake had inflicted only a "dry bite," or one that did not inject venom.
But his hand quickly swelled up to "the size of a grapefruit," Craig told KIRO, and he returned to the hospital. Doctors treated him with six bags of anti-venom, Craig said.
"As of right now, my little finger doesn't move at all and my ring finger barely moves," he said according to KIRO. "I'm just hoping that my hand works."
A Wal-Mart spokeswoman offered an apology to Craig and said the retailer was looking into how the incident could have happened at the store in Clarkston, in eastern Washington.
"At this point, it appears to be an isolated incident. We are working with a pest management team, which is conducting a sweep of the property to ensure there is no additional rattlesnake activity," Wal-Mart spokeswoman Kayla Whaling said.
Travis Taggart, director of the Center for North American Herpetology, said about half of documented rattlesnake bites, which are usually defensive when directed at humans, are "dry" but still cause severe pain.
"Craig said emergency room doctors sent him home because there was little swelling initially - he had iced the wound - and they thought the snake had inflicted only a dry bite,' or one that did not inject venom.
But his hand quickly swelled up to 'the size of a grapefruit,' Craig told KIRO, and he returned to the hospital."
Um, is it just me, or does this seem incredibly stupid on the part of the ER doctors? If I'd been bitten by a venomous snake, I would want them to err on the side of caution and assume that it was not a "dry bite". What if this had been done with a more venomous snake? The guy would be dead, and the family would have grounds for a lawsuit.
Posted by: Mollywobbles | Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 07:24 PM
This has the beginnings of of great urban legend. Shopper goes to (store) and gets bitten/eaten by a large python that escaped from the zoo!
Posted by: Queer Geek | Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 08:13 PM
River dance that snake to hell! Awesome.
Posted by: derrr | Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 08:25 PM
I would have pissed myself.
Posted by: Terah | Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 08:32 PM
It's not just you, Molly. I'd have insisted on antivenom if that was my hand that got bitten.
I realy don't think we can hold Wal-Mart responible for this one. Either the snake came in from the outside, or one of their suppliers screwed up.
And I hope Mr. Craig recovers fully.
Posted by: The Last Archimedean | Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 09:20 PM
My husband actually told me a story a few years back about a little girl getting bitten by a copperhead right outside our local KFC. This is in the South and I myself have seen my fair share of snakes since moving here 4 years ago (I actually just saw a black snake in the grass outside our apartment building a few weeks ago), and if I was bitten outside of a restaurant or retail store, suing said store would never cross my mind. Still nice that Wal-Mart took the preemptive and issued an apology anyway.
One more thing that struck me as odd: Why even make mention that the guy was buying the compost for his medicinal marijuana? There are normal-gardening uses for compost; why was it so important that that one little detail not escape the story? That strikes me as odd.
Posted by: Mollywobbles | Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at 12:16 AM
"Why even make mention that the guy was buying the compost for his medicinal marijuana?" Because then it's more sensational.
Posted by: TechTiger | Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at 02:19 AM
A big snake (big for species) has the control to deliver a dry bite or to envenom the bite as it wishes. A small snake doesn't; with a small snake the victim will get everything the snake has.
The lesson is clear: if a small snake bites you, insist on antivenin.
Posted by: RDM | Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at 02:52 AM
The local newscast I saw which led me to this story suggested that the snake came from a nearby field, not packed with the mulch or otherwise associated with Wal-Mart. What's he going to do? Sue the snake?
Posted by: Humor_Me | Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at 03:22 AM
We found a dead rattler at the bottom of one of our California wine crates one time. Thank goodness it didn't survive transit or we'd have been in for a hell of a surprise. And black widows frequently made the trip over. Any company that ships products from a farm or vineyard is going to have the occasional stowaway to deal with, so even if the snake didn't wander in from the local fields, I don't really think Walmart is responsible.
Posted by: Evie | Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at 07:33 AM
"How could this have happened in Clarkston?" Are you kidding? Idaho is lousy with rattlesnakes. That's how.
Posted by: Hellbound Alleee | Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at 07:46 AM
Of course, I meant to say Eastern Washington, where I live currently. Ahem.
Posted by: Hellbound Alleee | Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at 07:47 AM
Yeah, I'd say it was nice of Wal-Mart to check the property, but we can't really blame this one them.
Rattle snakes live in North America so one happening to crawl into a garden center probably isn't that unheard of.
Posted by: Chicajojobe | Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at 01:47 PM
Wal-mart will probably end up firing some associates, just to be on the safe side.
Posted by: Mcarp555 | Friday, May 18, 2012 at 02:29 AM