Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Well-Meaning Man Bitten by Rattlesnake While Rescuing Turtle

The victim's left hand following the rattlesnake bite.

The victim's left hand following the rattlesnake bite.

It seems that a 24-year-old Florida man was so moved by the sight of a stranded turtle trying to cross a busy highway, that he jumped out of the car to help it avoid getting flattened. It seems, however, that no good deed goes unpunished, because as soon as he was done, he was bitten by a nearby Eastern Diamondback rattlesnake and wound up in the ICU for his trouble.

It seems that the unidentified man was with a friend, who waited patiently in the car while the turtle lover picked up the chelonian and gently moved it to the grass on the other side of I-75, not far from the intersection of Interstate 595. According to Michelle Fayed of Miami-Dade Fire and Rescue, as he put the turtle down in the grass, he failed to noticed the rattlesnake in the same area, and it bit him. In his defense the Eastern Diamondback can accurately strike at anything within 1/3 the distance of its body length, so a 9 foot snake can easily clamp down on the hand of an unsuspecting do-gooder from a yard away.

Typically a rattle snake will very audibly shake its rattle when it feels threatened. It is not known whether or not this snake gave warning before biting, but it is known that, ”Diamondback venom is a potent hemotoxin that kills red blood cells and causes tissue damage. Bites are extremely painful and can be fatal to humans.” according to National Geographic.

The lucky mans’ friend drove him straight to the Memorial Regional Hospital, a move that Fayed called “very smart.” He was treated in the ICU with anti-venom and, as of late Tuesday, was only affected in the left arm.

Both turtle and snake appear to be okay too, though neither could be reached for comment.

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