Fight at East County home sets rattlesnake loose

LA MESA, Calif. -- A violent argument at a La Mesa home Saturday left a man hospitalized and police calling on wildlife units to corral a pair of snakes.

La Mesa Police Department received calls about a domestic violence incident on the 7800 block of La Mesa Boulevard shortly after 1 p.m., Sgt. Jim Huggins said.

At some point during the argument, police were told a woman shoved a man into a terrarium containing a pair of rattlesnakes, opening the door and releasing at least one of the animals into the room. Police suspected there were a variety of other snakes kept at the home as well.

The man fled the house after the fight, but officers caught up with him about a block away. He was taken to a nearby hospital by Heartland Fire-Rescue Department for injuries he suffered during the argument. Police did not confirm whether he or the woman would be charged with any crimes.

Officers called on California Fish & Wildlife officials to help handle the snakes.