Massive Snake Nearly Kills Man in Downtown Newport
A man is hospitalized Monday afternoon after a 15-ft.-long python attacked him inside his Newport store.
The River City News has learned that the man was cleaning the python's cage inside the store on the 600 block of Monmouth Street when the snake latched on his arm. "And they're punctured," Police Chief Tom Collins said. "You can see where the blood squirted on the wall and the floor."
That's when the man, later identified as Terry Wilkins, was fully wrapped up by the python which began to coil around the man's body, strangling him. Collins responded to the scene with a lieutenant and a sergeant. "I've never seen anything like it in 39 years," Collins said.
When the snake briefly let its head off the Wilkins's arm, Lt. Greg Ripberger seized the reptile and began to uncoil it. The man's body was lifeless, Collins said. Ripberger was able to get the snake back inside its cage as Collins, Sgt. Daron Arnberg, and other officers jerk the man away, and that jolt, Collins believes, got the man breathing on his own again.
Wilkins was quickly transferred to University of Cincinnati Medical Center. His condition is not known but his life is in danger.
Collins applauded his officers. "If I would have been by myself, I would have thought of shooting it," the chief said. "You can't say enough."