Local man bitten twice in showdown with rattlesnake

Posted at 9:47 PM, May 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-01 07:56:50-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -  A Tierrasanta man is recovering after surviving not one, but two rattlesnake bites.

At the end of Veracruz Court, near a canyon, Michael Garnsey had a too-close encounter with nature on Tuesday afternoon.  

He was in a dirt ditch in his front yard about to begin work on a walkway, when he reached for a piece of plywood.

"It was a sharp pain. It was quick," said Garnsey. The pain was right above his right wrist. Under him was the culprit, this seven-inch baby rattlesnake.    

"It was coiled up and it struck me, and it let go," said Garnsey.

Garnsey actually took out his phone and snapped a photo of the snake after getting bitten, so the snake could later be identified. Then it hit him.  

There are a lot of families with little kids in the neighborhood, and he knew he had to take care of the snake.  

He grabbed a shovel. But as he was making his move, the rattler bit him a second time on the right forearm. Garnsey struck back and killed the snake.

His family drove him to the ER. After three doses of antivenin, he was released a day and a half later.

Garnsey's painful encounter is the latest example of an active rattlesnake season. The month of May is typically the time when the most bites occur.

Baby rattlers are considered dangerous because they can't control the amount of venom they inject.

If you do get bitten, Garnsey suggests - as he did - having someone call the hospital to make sure they're stocked with antivenin.