Federal Lawsuit Targets Police Use of Burmese Python in Alabama Jail
July 28, 2015
This has got to be the most bizarre lawsuit involving reptiles in the United States. An inmate housed in an Alabama jail in Dale County has filed a federal lawsuit against Dale County, Dale County Sheriff's deputies, Sheriff Wally Olson and two corrections officers. The suit alleges that a Burmese python was used two years ago intimidate Trawick Redding, Jr. in his jail cell and since then, Redding has suffered anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder and night terrors from the episode, according to WSFA 12 News.
Burmese Python Information
Redding, who was in jail for a non-violent offense, told the jail staff that he had a fear of snakes prior to the alleged incident in the jail cell. Two corrections officers, Zeneth Glenn and Ryan MittelBach apparently used the snake to intimidate Redding and other prisoners in the jail. Sheriff Olson told WSFA 12 News that he terminated the two officers within a half hour from when he learned the incident occurred, on the day it occurred.
Tambako The Jaguar/Flickr
Burmese pythons can grow to more than 20 feet in length.
“This is not a case of a yellow garden snake found outside the jail that got in,” Redding’s attorney Martin Weinberg told WSFA 12 News. “Our belief is that this was a thought out plan by some of the guards to torture, control and harass the inmates, specifically my client, Mr. Redding.” Redding is seeking court costs and damages of up to $3 million.
Burmese pythons are one of the largest snakes in the world with the capability of growing to more than 20 feet in length and more than 200 pounds. They are native to Southeast Asia and there are established invasive populations in the Florida Everglades. Of the large snakes, the Burmese python is said to have the most docile nature and temperament.
John B. Virata keeps a western hognose snake, a ball python, two corn snakes, a king snake, and two leopard geckos. His first snake, a California kingsnake, was purchased at the Pet Place in Westminster, CA for $5. His first pet reptile was a green anole that arrived in a small box via mail order. Follow him on Twitter @johnvirata