Nursing center patient finds snake in underpants, workers say

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Underpants snake

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- Imagine waking up and going to the bathroom only to find a live snake in your underwear.

Workers at the Titusville Rehab and Nursing Center on US-1 said that exact scenario played out with a resident inside the home.

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"(It was) in his underwear," said certified nursing assistant Veronica Mitchner. "I was like, a snake? A real snake. And I wanted to see the snake and when I seen the snake in a cup, I was like, 'Dang, that's a real snake.'"

Mitchner said supervisors at the 157-bed facility told nurses not to report what happened.

"She told them not to do an incident report," Mitchner said.

But Mitchner said the supervisors' response is what prompted employees to act, and an anonymous call was made to police.

"A live snake, a little baby live snake," the caller said.

"OK," said the dispatcher.

The caller told dispatchers that supervisors were trying to cover up the incident.

"They don't want it to be known. They don't want the Health Department to be called. They don't want anything to be done."

The police report shows the director of nursing said she would call pest control, saying the snake may have gotten to the resident from a blanket due to the laundry facility being outside.

When WFTV went to the facility for answers, the director of nursing shut the door without answering any questions.

But Mitchner said the snakes aren't new.

"I've been here for two years, and I've seen them for two years," she said.

Mitchner said she wants to see more being done to control the pest problem.

Other employees said management tried to further cover up what happened by telling them not to talk with the media.

The resident was not bitten or injured by the snake, authorities said. He even told police he'd like to keep the reptile as a pet.

A statement from the facility identified the snake as a 3-inch nonpoisonous ring neck snake. It also said the pest control company that inspected the grounds found no evidence of snakes.

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