Associated Press, 01/28/98 16:56

CHILLICOTHE, Ohio (AP) - The owner of a 12-foot python wound up in court after the snake apparently turned on a faucet and caused the bathtub to overflow.

Police said they charged Keith Washington, 34, with harboring a dangerous animal because they had gotten previous complaints about Gidget, his 95-pound pet. He could get up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.

On Sunday, Washington left the snake soaking in the tub at his upstairs apartment while he watched the Super Bowl at a neighbor's home.

He said Gidget likes to drink and moisten her skin in the tub and often stays there for hours before slithering out. He said she sometimes brushes against the faucet and turns the water on.

When the tub overflowed Sunday, the water dripped through the floor, and a downstairs neighbor called police.

Washington said Gidget is gentle and often crawls into his lap.

``A lot of people have dogs or cats that get out of hand, but no one ever hears of snakes biting or hurting anyone,'' he said.

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