NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It’s the stuff urban legends are made of.

A Staten Island man got quite the shock after a snake showed up in his toilet.

Allen Shepard was brushing his teeth in his Granitville apartment around 6:30 a.m. Tuesday when he looked down at the bowl saw a California Kingsnake staring back at him.

Shepard told the Staten Island Advance he grabbed a bottle of Clorox Greenworks and began spraying the snake but that wasn’t enough to deter his unwelcomed guest.

He ended up calling building superintendent Karen Genco who didn’t buy his story.

“I didn’t believe him at first, I thought he was joking, but it was for real,” Genco told 1010 WINS. “It was like a scene out of a cartoon, it was hysterical.”

Genco then called a plumber to wrestle the 4-foot-long snake out of the bowl.

“I grabbed the piece that was sticking out and I pulled on him gently, and he wasn’t going nowhere,” Kenneth Rosenthal, of 1-800 CLOGGED Response Service Group, said. “I pulled a little more, and I kept a steady pull on him, and it kept coming out. I said, ‘When is this thing going to end?’ I already had about 2.5 feet of him out.”

The tug-of-war between man and snake lasted about 30 minutes.

“After a little struggle trying to get him out he was quite unhappy and looking to bite,” Genco said.

Rosenthal was able to safely get the snake into a cooler before a neighbor reportedly volunteered to bring the reptile to a sanctuary in Manhattan.

Genco believes the snake came from within the apartment building.

“What I’m being told is that it came from somewhere within the sewer line so it had to come from somewhere within the complex,” Genco said.

“You can’t make this stuff up,” Rosenthal said of the experience. “It was a very exciting morning, we’ve never really had to deal with anything like that before.”

Comments (67)
  1. Snakes on the Island. says:

    Thera are a lot of Snakes out on Staten Island. Mostly the Italian Married Type.

  2. Leslie says:

    “I pulled a little more, and I kept a steady pull on him, and it kept coming out. I said, ‘When is this thing going to end?’ I already had about 2.5 feet of him out.”

    That’s what she said.

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  3. cm says:

    His first instinct is to spray it with poison? Jackass.

    1. USArmyCombatMedic says:

      This wasn’t a snake in the middle of the woods. This was a snake in the middle of a damn toilet. It’s not the man’s fault the snake wound up there, and I’m sure it startled the daylights out of him. So when you are startled and scared by a wild and potentially life-threatening animals (unless you are a herpetologist, how would you know it’s NOT life threatening), do you respond by cuddling it, or attempting to kill it?

      Personally, I would have skipped the spray bottle of poison, and gone straight for the kitchen knife. Why? Because I can handle combat in the middle of a desert against human enemies, but keep snakes away from me, thank you very much.

  4. Vince C says:

    For the record, snakes (and spiders, for that matter) are not “poisonous”. Toadstools are poisonous. Arsenic is poisonous. Snakes (and spiders and scorpions and wasps) are VENOMOUS. It’s an important distinction that you want to make if you want to intelligently discuss stuff like this.

    1. Carlos says:

      Thanks, Nancy, we’ll keep that in mind.

    2. USArmyCombatMedic says:

      To be fair, it’s not all that important. The difference between venom and poison is that poison can be absorbed by the body (through the skin, etc), whereas venom must be injected. But since (at least most) snakes have fangs, and use these fangs to inject their venom, the terms can be used fairly interchangeably with most people understanding the conversation as a whole. Once poison is absorbed by the body, it becomes a toxin. Once venom is injected into the body, it too becomes a toxin.

      All in all, when a venomous/poisonous/bad snake is in your toilet, who cares what we call it?

  5. Bjorn McCluskey says:

    I found a corned-back rattler this morning.

  6. Hiram Davis says:

    I’m always seeing a one-eyed snake in my toilet. It’s not quite 4 ft., but it’s growing

    1. Gern Blanston says:


  7. Hi says:

    It happened before years ago in a woman’s home in Brooklyn but she called an expert

    1. MoFoChicken says:

      Why is this story written up in the news? Oh OH! I know! To distract people from obamma’s failed energy and economic policies by writing as many nonsense stories as possible, in order to avoid writing about the real issues the media wants to head-fake us with, and protect the O. That’s why.

      1. Bub Aberdeen says:

        OH! You know!
        Because dumb human interest stories like this never were written when Bush was in office, right? Or were they also a cover-up then as well? Wow, you Drudge link-riders really have your feet planted firmly on the ground, don’t you?

        1. USArmyCombatMedic says:

          Don’t blame ALL Drudge readers. It’s not my fault MoFoChicken is an imbecile.

      2. A moose. Yeah, let's go with that. says:

        Please don’t reproduce.

      3. USArmyCombatMedic says:

        I’m 99% sure that is NOT why this is in the News. More likely, this is in the News because the news is a business. They will post a link to any article that they know or think people will click on, and after clicking on, will subsequently view the associated advertisements. And let’s face it, YOU clicked on the article didn’t you? You read the headline, and clicked the link. Why? Not because you wanted a distraction from “obamma’s [sic] failed energy and economic policies”, but because you thought the story would either be interesting or hilariously lame. Either way, your action contributed to the reason why the article was posted in the first place.

        Also, “Obama” is all of 5 letters, my friend. I don’t like him either, but misspelling a 5-letter word doesn’t prove any point other than – “Look at me! I’m a moron!”

  8. Kevin Stowell says:

    Probably just another Obama-voter unfamiliar with his body functions.

    1. j says:

      what do you mean please explain

  9. Sean says:

    What would have happened if they found it in a car? Would they have called a mechanic? Hopefully the plumber got paid well. Call animal control next time you morons! lol

  10. Mike says:

    A king snake is a beneficial animal, they eat rats and also eat venomous snakes. I would have let it go in the meadows, that’s a good snake to have around.

    1. Honky the Clown says:

      The guy is lucky he didn’t use the toilet……the One Eyed Trouser Snake is the King snakes natural enemy. You think that snake was angry after being sprayed with bleach? Try fighting it after it had that mornings chilli & egg burrito dumped all over it.

  11. dunnyveg says:

    I’ve never had a snake crawl out of my toilet, but western diamondback rattlesnakes are a regular feature of life where I live. There is a simple, inexpensive tool for removing snakes. It consists of a piece of PVC pipe at least an inch in diameter and at least five feet long, and at least ten feed of cord rope. Drill a hole an inch from one of the ends of the pipe big enough to put the cord through. Do so, pull it through the pipe so that only a couple of inches are left, and tie it so the cord won’t come out of the pipe. Then there is a loop so that when a snake is encountered, it’s only a matter of pulling the cord tight to capture the snake.

  12. scorp says:

    I don’t like snakes but I hope he didn’t harm the snake by pouring bleach on it. He could’ve just shut the lid and weighed it down with books or something. It must’ve burned the heck out of the snake, he must’ve been in incredible pain.

  13. jim says:

    The same thing happened to me the last time I ate at Old Country Buffet!

    1. Cat on the menu. says:

      That was Cat!

  14. Lipstick says:

    King snakes will not hurt you. They may bite and cause an infection at the site but they are non poisonous. I actually like King snakes. The speckled king kills poisonous snakes. I will not kill this type of snake. Only Copperheads and Rattlers with maybe a water moccasin thrown in. If you don’t know one from the other learn. Many eat mice. Living in the country I see them all the time.

  15. Ricardo says:

    Next time, chew the entire stack of Oreos before you swallow them.

  16. Osamas Pajamas says:

    Clearly a midget NYC politician.

    1. Giuliani the Snake says:

      It’s Adolf Giuliani who, along with Wall Street and the central banks, conspired to provoke the 911 accident. God is great.

  17. whodattabe says:

    Anyone who takes the opportunity to read a story about a snake and then post a comment about Obama, Palin, politics etc obviously came here via a Drudge Report link. Do you people have lives or jobs or do you just troll all day looking to write “Obama is a Muslim” or “I can’t believe Palin was almost our VP” or “Ron Paul 2012”!

    1. Mark Twain says:

      Takes one, to know one!

    2. Otis Campbell says:

      I came here from the Daily Kos. Saw a post (now deleted) that this snake in the $hitter thing was Bush’s fault.

  18. Fuzzy says:

    I don’t understand society any more. If I found a snake in the toilet, first thing I’d do is identify it. If it was safe, I’d grab it and put it in a container until I could find it a home. If it was poisonous or I couldn’t tell if it was poisonous – its 50/50 that I’d either kill it and toss it in the trash, or would still catch it and put it in a container until I could turn it in to the zoo, etc.

    Why is it that no one can take care of themselves anymore? Sheesh!!!

  19. Leon says:

    I saw Bill Clinton in a toilet once. Same thing I guess.

    1. Snæbjörn says:

      Was he a brown snake?

    2. Bub Aberdeen says:

      Wow. I’ll bet you want your country back, too. As anti-gay as you act, you apparently have gay activities on your mind A LOT, if this story made you think of that. Remember this comment the next time you are surfing the internet for gay activities in your secret shame.

      Oh, and have a nice day.

      1. Darrin says:

        Are you insane or just homophobic? Bub Aberdeen? You remind me of my aunt. I’ll start talking about something relevant and historically important…she will but in and start explaining why something went on sale at Wal-Mart.
        Your duck hasn’t joined the rest in the pond yet has it?

  20. Leon says:

    I saw Bill Clinton in a toilet once. Same thing I guess.

  21. Nick says:

    It’s Staten Island, it’s full of snakes. The two legged greasy kind in particular.

  22. stinky stew says:

    That is not a snake folks, Its a TAPEWORM!!!

  23. Longe says:

    A few years ago, after days of torrential rains here in Honolulu, I looked in my toilet & saw a live RAT! I thought that was an urban legend as well!

  24. weeone says:

    happens to me every time i P

  25. freecheese says:

    King Snakes are harmless, and the eat more rats than you will ever see in your life.
    If you find one, don’t harm it. Give it to animal control.

  26. dellbabe68 says:

    I found a baby alligator up in Riverdale, walking along the Hudson (on Palisades Boulevard!) The police didn’t believe me until they got there, and then they sent the biggest truck they had, all for a 2.5 foot alligator.

  27. Pamela Chester says:

    I am never going to go wee in the middle of the night without turning on bright lights! And, I mean BRIGHT!

    1. Old Duffer says:

      You would have not liked living in Alaska. Up there the most deadly snake in the world resides, they are blind and have no mouth, And you really don’t want to know how they kill people.

      1. UsirRwrong says:

        There are NO snakes native to alaska… Poisonous or otherwise..

        1. jv says:

          The only country that has MOST poisonous snakes is Australia. Maybe the dude was smoking that legal Med weed up there and actually saw a sea snake. Also King snakes are protected so whoever had it was breaking the law.

        2. Al says:

          He’s talking about the dreaded Ice Snake. You were supposed to say “if they have no mouth and is blind, how do they kill their prey? The answer is they crawl up you rear and freeze you to death.

  28. PinkFloydFan says:

    I’ve been known to dump a few 4 feet snakes in to toilets after a big meal.

  29. slickzip says:

    It could have been one of ODUMBAS new spys, checking up on things ,,,,,,,,,,,,

    1. Old Duffer says:

      Oh good grief. king snakes are docile as can be, if picked up they will not resist and actually seem to enjoy being handled.
      Several decades ago, we had two king snakes that came in and out of the house as they chose and had run of the place, They were the kids favorite pets, often carrying around and petting them.

    2. LaDeeDa says:

      Or it could actually be Odumba in person, didn’t you know he sneaks out at night?

  30. Johnnie D says:

    This is not as uncommon as people think. And just as bad are the “RATS” that show up in toilet bowls….

  31. J Reno says:

    I found a one eyed viper in my trou this AM!

    1. weeone says:

      ya but it was a tiny little thing

    2. Zjak says:

      I heard you needed a microscope in order to find it.

      1. J Reno says:

        Not according to your mom.

  32. Gabrielle says:

    This is one of my worst childhood nightmares coming true.

    1. Kevin Stowell says:

      Snakes need love too, Gabrielle.

    2. Andrew Rosenthal says:

      Watch the video on youtube with Kenny Rosenthal

  33. Ron says:

    Could have been easily mistaken for an elected official.. They are all reptiles and would go as low as intruding on someone from their toilet.

    1. vera says:

      Hardly, this was non-poisonous snake.

  34. Little Devil says:

    New York’s sewers win the prize with this one. Then there’s also baby alligators to watch for.

  35. Little Devil says:

    Wise advice to all you men – put the seat AND lid down before turning in at night. You never know!!! 😀

  36. MaxineRocks says:

    Good thing he didn’t just plop down to take a dump! Think how shocking that would have been – for both of them!!

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