Pa. station buzzing with snakes


The Associated Press

SHAMOKIN, Pa.- The city police station was buzzing Thursday _ with the sound of rattlesnakes. Receptionist Mallary Shingara said when she walked into the chief's office and saw them, "I dropped my cell phone and almost my coffee."

Police Chief John Brown said officers answered a call Wednesday night about a woman threatening to harm herself and found the woman in her basement holding a knife to her throat.

She put down the knife but began waving the snakes at the officers, and was herself bitten on the arms and face. She put down the snakes and again grabbed the knife, but Mount Carmel police arrived with a stun weapon and used it to immobilize her, Brown said.

The woman was taken to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville for treatment of the snake bites, and officers brought aquariums back to the station containing two western diamondback rattlesnakes, a pygmy rattlesnake and two copperheads, each about 30 inches long, Brown said.

"I can't get my evidence guy to put them in the evidence locker," he said. Zoo America at Hershey offered to take the snakes, but Brown said he hadn't found out if he could legally allow that.

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