Special Report filed by AAF Correspondent: Dan Berry
from ABC Online News

      Santa Clarita Boy In Fair Condition After Rattlesnake Bite

Thursday, October 5, 2000

A 14-year-old boy was listed in fair condition in the intensive care unit of Children's Hospital Los Angeles Wednesday, recovering from a rattlesnake bite he received at a skateboard complex in Santa Clarita.

Witnesses said the boy, identified as Johnny Greenback, may have taunted the snake, which crawled up behind him and bit him on the thumb shortly after 8 Tuesday night.

The boy's hand was swollen, but he reportedly had no respiratory problems, according to broadcast reports .

A sign at the park at 26407 Golden Valley Road warns of the snake danger.

"We really live in their area. We can't forget that," said Los Angeles County fire Capt. Rob Smith. "If disturbed or cornered, rattlesnakes will defend themselves. It's always important to be careful."

The boy, who was given eight vials of anti-venin, was luckier than an Antelope Valley area man who was rushed to another hospital after being bitten by a snake last week.

Antelope Valley Hospital in Lancaster had a limited amount of anti-venin on hand, and military police had to rush more to the hospital from Edwards Air Force Base. The man survived the attack.

Copyright c KABC-TV and the Associated Press.

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