Monday, Sept. 20, 2010 | 1:05 p.m.
A snake caused a stir Saturday afternoon in the Fantastic Indoor Swap Meet on Decatur Boulevard when it bit a worker's hand and briefly wrapped itself around the man's arm.
Ming Wong, 22, who works at the Snake Shop inside the swap meet, said the 12-foot Burmese python bit him as he stuck his hand inside the cage to get the snake for a customer.
Wong said the snake probably bit him because she thought she was getting food. A manager pulled the snake out of the cage to pry it off his hand, at which point the snake began wrapping itself around his arm, he said.
"You can't do much if the snake is still inside the cage," Wong said.
Cory Frisby, the customer who asked to see the snake, recorded video of the incident on his phone before he helped release Wong's arm from the snake.
A crowd of about 30 to 40 people gathered to watch the situation, Wong said.
Even so, Wong, who said he still "loves that snake to death," did not suffer major injuries — just minor bruising to his hand, he said. He was back at work Sunday.
"It was more of a shock than anything," Wong said. "It's not every day you get bit by a 12-foot snake. It made my day exciting."
Randy McDowell, owner of the Snake Shop, said the snake was never loose during the incident and the employees did exactly as they were supposed to.
McDowell, who has owned the Snake Shop for 10 years, said this is the first such incident like this to occur and no one was in serious danger. He only sells non-venomous snakes at the shop.
For now, though, McDowell said he will be the only one handling the Burmese python.
"My policy is he (Wong) can't handle the snake for 30 days," McDowell said.