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Woman hospitalized after seawall snake attack

maria pena2.jpg
Posted at 3:07 PM, Apr 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-28 22:00:48-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — 65-year-old Maria Pena remains hospitalized today after she was bitten on the foot by a rattlesnake.

She was walking along the seawall near the Omni Hotel on Monday evening when the snake bit her.

William Hines was visiting with a friend at the seawall when he heard there was a rattlesnake nearby.

"The next thing we hear is some lady scream. And then somebody else say rattlesnake!" Hines said.

He rushed over to help, worried someone else might get hurt.

"I pinned him down with my cane and he cut his head off with his knife. And that was pretty much it." Hines said. "The ambulance was here lickety-split to pick up that woman."

That ambulance was called by 16-year-old Maliyah Hernandez, who was enjoying an evening stroll on the seawall with her family and boyfriend when they saw the situation unfolding.

"We saw the snake and he heard the snake. And it was just like... wow she actually got bit by a rattlesnake. Like this is serious, we actually need to do something about it. We can't just walk away, we gotta help her." she said.

Hernandez said people had been walking past the snake without noticing because it blended in with the concrete.

After calling for help, she sat down with Maria Pena.

"I was sitting with her the whole time, I could not leave her side." Hernandez said.

While a rattlesnake on the seawall was a huge shock for those around, representatives from the Texas Parks and Wildlife say you should always be aware of your surroundings this time of year.

Rattlesnakes don't just live in brush -- they can live and travel in various environments.

"The fireman had said he had never heard of anything like that happening on the seawall in Corpus Christi," Hines said. "I believe him. The only thing I could think of is he came down through the sewer lines.”

The unusual surroundings for the snake provided a stunning moment, Hernandez said.

"When you're walking on the sea wall, it's not something you expect to see." she said. "You don't expect to see a big snake. I just really hope the lady is in good health."

Pena's family told KRIS 6 she is in good spirits and will stay in the hospital a few more days so they can monitor her blood.