15-ft. python attacks Newport reptile shop owner

Posted at 2:50 PM, Oct 05, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-05 14:50:42-04

NEWPORT, Ky. -- A man is in critical condition after being attacked by a large python at a reptile shop.

The incident happened Monday afternoon at the Captive Born Reptiles shop at 635 Monmouth St.

Officers said that when they arrived, they found the 15-foot, 100-pound snake wrapped around the shop owner and blood on the walls.

Newport police officials said one of the officers had handled snakes before and knew not to shoot it. Instead, the officers uncoiled the snake from the man's torso and wrangled it back into a cage.

The man suffered a wound to his neck and was in critical condition. He was unconscious when officers arrived, but they were able to revive him after getting him out of the store.

The man was taken to University of Cincinnati Medical Center for treatment. His identity has not been released.

Newport police Chief Thomas Collins credited the two officers with saving the man's life. He said that if the officers had shot the snake, it would have constricted even tighter and killed the man.

Investigators said the snake that attacked the man was a breeding snake and was not used to being handled by humans. Officers found more than 100 snakes in the store.

WCPO will update this story as more information becomes available.