13-foot snake found hiding in closet

A smaller snake, dog, cat and kittens were found in the garage.



YOUNGSTOWN — Police officers working on a routine trespassing call Wednesday made a bizarre discovery: a 13-foot python.

City police were responding to a complaint from the owner of a vacant house on North Lakeview Avenue at 2:26 p.m. The owner, West Side resident Ted Hassay, 54, said he had seen lights on and furniture in the house, which was supposed to have been abandoned for more than one month.

“We went in and looked around and we found that big snake,” said Hassay. “It was big. It was probably about 20 feet long.”

Police found the snake, a suspected python they estimated to be “13 feet long, 50 pounds,” in an upstairs closet of the home.

“After gaining our composure,” police reports stated, officers called Dave Nelson, Mahoning County deputy dog warden. Police eventually concluded that “an expert would be needed for removal.”

Hassay reported having rented the house from November 2005 to November 2007. All utilities were to have been disconnected, but officers’ search revealed the address was still receiving bills.

In the garage of the home, officers also found a stolen car, a dog, cat and kittens and a smaller snake in a cage.

“Some guy was squatting in [the house],” said Hassay. “He was raising cats to feed the snake.”

Officers removed the dog and were to return to collect the cats, Hassay said. He said he had heard the snake had been removed. Further information was not available late Wednesday.

Hassay was supposed to finalize the sale of the home Monday.

“I’m done with these rental homes for sure,” he said.


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