Fredericksburg City Beat

This blog includes news about City Hall, city schools and other 22401 news.

Pamela Gould reports on City Hall. You can reach her at 540-735-1972 or Robyn Sidersky reports on city schools. You can reach her at 540-374-5413 or

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See any snakes this weekend?

Of all the e-mails I had waiting for me when I came in to work the Saturday reporter shift, this one, from a Germanna student who lives in the Belmont apartments on Cowan Boulevard, was my favorite:

"My roommate and I live at Bemont at Cowan Place. My roommate

was almost attacked tonight by a snake as he was about to

use the toilet. He looked down as he was about to sit down,

and saw the white head of snake coming at him. He dropped

the lid down and we called 911. As we waited for help to

come, we heard the toilet seat lift up and fall back down.

I was worried about what type of snake that it was, and if I

could ever go back into the bathroom again and feel safe–so

I went online and did an internet search for snakes in the

toilet. I found out, to my surprise, that it’s a big problem

and that the number of attacks are growing every year

because of urban sprawl."

The police confirmed responding to the call, but when they got there, there was no snake to be found. The watch commander on-duty Saturday morning said he owns a snake as a pet, and was highly doubtful that one would have made its way into the sewers.

By Saturday afternoon, when I stopped by the apartment with a photographer, the resident still had a plastic toilet brush shoved down into the toilet to keep the reptile at bay, but there had been no repeat snake-spotting.

He also had a cardboard box barricading the bathroom door from the rest of the apartment. He pledged to keep his cell phone camera handy anytime he approached the bathroom in the future so that he could snap a shot of the snake if it returned.

Now, I won’t go into all the various theories that circulated in our office about what could have been the real story here, and with no evidence of a scaly sewer-slitherer, we didn’t print anything.

But I did sense genuine shock when I visited this young man, so if you hear something in your bathroom…