Woman freed from pet python
City to recognize Lyons police officer who saved owner from snake attack.
John Green - The Hutchinson News
LYONS - City officials here are preparing two citations after a pet 8-foot albino python attacked its owner earlier this week.
The first will recognize a part-time city police officer who reached into the jaws of the massive reptile and pried it from the neck of its owner.
The second, for the snake owner, is a ticket for harboring a vicious animal.
The incident began Tuesday when the homeowner pulled the snake from its cage to feed it, said Lyons Police Chief Chris Detmer.
"It grabbed her by the neck and latched on," Detmer said. "Her kids called 911."
Officer Max Bryant responded to the call.
"I was glad it was him," Detmer said. "Not too many guys will grab one of those."
Bryant grasped the snake by its snout and lower jaw and forced its mouth open.
The snake didn't wrap itself around the woman, Detmer said, so she was freed once the snake's jaws were opened.
The snake owner, a woman in her 20s, moved to the community late last year, the chief said.
She was treated at the local hospital for scratches to her neck and released.
"They don't have fangs," Detmer said of the python. "They've got small gripping teeth."
Detmer would not release the woman's name pending issuance of the citation.
The News was unable to reach Bryant for comment.
The chief and city attorney reviewed local ordinances and determined the snake is a vicious animal because of its propensity to commit an unprovoked attack.
Officials didn't require the snake be destroyed, but did demand it be removed from the home where there were children, Detmer said. A friend of the owner took the snake in.
"It's a little different deal in that it doesn't run around, like with a pit bull," Detmer said. "We don't really have to worry about it getting loose or going after little kids."
The chief noted it was the third albino python the department has had contact with, for various reasons, over the past several years. There is no prohibition against the snakes in city code.
"Some can get to 20-feet" long, Detmer said. "They can get big."
Bryant, who also works part-time at the Rice County jail, will receive a citation from the city, noting his bravery, during an upcoming City Council meeting, said City Manager John Sweet.
"That was a quick response," Sweet said. "I'm a retired Marine and I'm not sure I could do that."