Cop Saves Pet Store Owner from Attacking Python

A cop saves a pet store owner's life as a python attacks her.
A cop saves a pet store owner's life as a python attacks her.

As he finished his day at work at the Eugene, Oregon Police Department, Sergeant Ryan Nelson couldn't have known that he'd soon be wrestling a 12-foot Burmese python.

Last Thursday afternoon towards the end of his shift, police and firefighters well called to the Best Friends pet store in north Eugene.

A woman who works was being attacked by a huge 12-foot python.

The snake had clamped its jaws on Teresa Rossiter's finger, wrapped itself around her wrist, arm and shoulder, and began moving toward her neck, constricting as it moved.

When Nelson and the fire crew arrived, they found Rossiter lying on the ground wrapped tightly by the snake.

She was in grave danger.

When Nelson prepared to use a knife to rescue her, the woman pleaded with him to spare the snake, so instead he used his hands to pry the snake's tightly clenched jaw and was able to partially remove the woman's finger.

The snake was still attached, although it had lost a few teeth in the sergeant's left thumb.

A firefighter then used a screwdriver to further force open the snake's mouth and free the woman's finger.

She was still in the snake's tight grip.

Sgt. Nelson and the firefighters began squeezing the snake's neck and were able to unwrap the snake from the woman.

Both Rossiter and the snake survived.

As Nelson tried to return the snake to its cage, it was still writhing and fighting.

The snake managed to get free and came after Sgt. Nelson.

He grabbed it behind the head again and wrestled it into its cage.

Nelson says his only experience with snakes until now has only involved catching garter snakes for his young sons.