Man bitten by rattlesnake at Walmart

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by KTVB & Associated Press

wwltv.com

Posted on May 14, 2012 at 2:08 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 15 at 10:30 AM

CLARKSTON, Wash. -- Washington resident Mica Craig got more than he bargained for last Friday when he was at the local Walmart buying mulch for his medical marijuana plants.

Craig was inside the Walmart Garden Center, where he tried to move what he thought was a stick to better see the price of the mulch, but soon realized it was a live rattlesnake.

"I thought it was a stick, so I reached down and grabbed the stick to move it out of the way to see that price," Craig said.  He then added, "When I grabbed it, it turned around and latched onto my hand. Then I realized it was a snake, and I shook it. Well its fangs buried deeper into my hand, and I had to shake my hand again, and it finally came loose."

Craig then stomped on the snake until it died.

The 47-year-old told KTVB he then got a ride to the emergency room at a Lewiston hospital from a bystander at Walmart.

"It was kind of like a bee sting at first," Craig said. "And I thought 'Well, that's not bad. He didn't bite me.' But when I got into the car and started going to the hospital, it started to burn like somebody was injecting acid into my hand."

Craig says he was treated with six bags of anti-venom and was told that his hand could be permanently disfigured.

What happened to snake after he stomped it? Craig says Walmart employees got it and burned it.

"I called them from the hospital. I said 'Skin it! I want to keep the skin for a hat band,'" said Craig.

The Walmart was built near a field right next to the river. Craig thinks that's where the snake came from.

"It wasn't out to hurt me; he was out to protect himself," Craig said. "Come to find out the next day they found five to six more rattlesnakes out there."

Craig says doctors expect him to remain hospitalized until Tuesday.

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