Woman bitten 3 times by copperhead snake at Virginia restaurant

Ambulance in city street

File under: Nope. See also: Why I Can Never Live in the South. 

When she felt a sharp pain on her foot after walking into a Spotsylvania County LongHorn Steakhouse, Rachel Myrick assumed she'd been stung by a bee and tried to brush it off. But soon, as she told the The Free Lance-Star, the pain turned excrutiating. 

“I had my fingers under my foot and that’s when I felt something moving,” said Myrick, who realized been bitten twice on her toes and once on the side of her foot by a roughly 8-inch-long baby copperhead snake. Somehow the reptile had managed to get inside the restaurant's foyer and apparently didn't like the looks of the real estate agent's sandal-clad feet. 

After the snake was killed and medics arrived, Myrick was brought to the hospital for observation. She wound up having antivenin administered after swelling became severe, reaching as far as her hip. She was also given morphine and benadryl for pain, and is expected to recover over the next three months.

Her family's meals were comped by LongHorn Steakhouse, which feels...somehow inadquate, but a nice gesture nonetheless. 


Well, maybe if she had been wearing SHOES she wouldn't have been bitten on the toes and side of the foot. Most places have "no shirt/no shoes" signs but they allow flip flops and sandals.  To me, it's the same, especially when they can't wash their feet at some point in the month.  Or have we time traveled back to the barefoot 60s?  Maybe we're too poor to afford shoes now?  When I was in high school, they wouldn't let us wear flip flops, saying they were too dangerous. Now, flip flops seem to be the only "shoe" that people want and even men are wearing them.  

My guess is she also had a cell phone glued to her ear and wasn't paying attention to where she was walking, either.

Michael, maybe you should read the article more carefully before you give such an opinion.  The article clearly states she was wearing sandals.

Goose, maybe if you read Michael's comment completely you would have realized he doesn't seem to consider consider sandals/flip flops to be adequate / "real" shoes.  He seems to believe they are minimalistics and inadequate for protection.

Your opinion really doesn't matter. Sandals and flip flops are shoes!! Just because you have ugly feet doesn't give you the right to pass your personal useless opinion onto the rest of society. I would guess you are a liberal. She was sitting and not walking so she was probably paying attention to her food and family!! Why can't it be people like you that suffer? Karma needs to move faster!!! The sixties? Oh, those who think today is so much better know little!  I pray she heals quickly and can enjoy some fun in the sun in the wonderful south!!!

Kim, Just because you have a narrow biased mind, does that give you the right to pass your useless opinion onto the rest of society? As stated sandals offer less protection and expose those filthy feet to harm. When dirty filthy toes are bitten they are more likely to cause infection to the dirty filth owner.

Just because someone has a differnent opinion from your's doesn't mean it's useless. That's what's wrong with the world today!


An opinion is just an opinion.  It does make you right or wrong. Keep calm and carry on.

Nice job blaming the victim, Michael


 I can't even begin to respond to this idiots comment about flip-flops. what if she went down to scratch her leg in the snake better on the hand? should she have walked in like the tin man? is this guy an idiot ? Wow!  I can't imagine the pain this poor lady had to endure .  I God  I hope she has a fast recovery and I hope that the restaurant does more than comp a meal .  It's your establishment. you're responsible for what goes on in there . 

The snake bit the uncovered toe not some uncovered hand.   Those who do not use common sense are more likely to be injured.

When asked the victim told police that her toes wernt covered by her shoe shurance because toes wernt covered in the policy.. There was no  shortage of Snake Charmer Lawyers to offer to defend her in her up coming law suit. There were many Snake Fascinated patrons but no comments from them



Learn how to spell, before you talk about people you don't even know. 

To the gentleman who said she should have been wearing shoes...go back and read the article.  She was wearing sandals and was not barefoot!!  Sandals and flip-flops are considered shoes!! I have never been not allowed in a restaurant because I was wearing sandals or flip-flops.  I. Addition how many people go into a restaurant expecting to be bit by a snake!!

Times have changed Michael.  There was no indication that she was on the cell phone in the article.  Young snakes do not travel far from their nesting area.  Hawks often nest in trees closest to snakes.  Snakes are attracted to food and water sources as well.   Young snakes have a wet bite, which is dangerous. At least, they caught the snake for identification purposes. Life happens everywhere. Just be observant. 

I am aware of a way side where a young man had pulled over to take a nap. He was killed when a python got into his vehicle and killed him while he was napping.  They only identified the snake by the scales it left behind. I have watched a python cross a Walmart parking lot during the day, It was between a drainage pond and a canal. 

Michael You are truly an idiot

Why do you say he's an idiot?

Really?  Do you look down at the floor every time you enter a place of business to search for snakes?  I'm just glad she's ok.  There is nothing wrong with sandals and you've made a lot of assumptions here that have nothing to do with anything.  Dirty feet?

I think Michael was referring to the feet of those who wear sandals… Just in general. It seems to make sense that if someone were holding part of the body near dust and dirt hour after hour that dust and dirt with accumulate on the skin.

Man you are all over the place with your comment. Needless rant over shoes when this woman could have died. I am going to guess you have the right to blame her for being bit. Then you speculate about her hygiene. Do us all a favor and just don't respond. You are the kind of person who fosters hate.

Even if she had shoes on covering her feet or boots,unless they're made for snakes,a snakes fangs can puncture anything that isn't made for snake handling to prevent puntures. Regardless she would have got bitten. And if the restaurant was sweeping under tables after customers they would found the snake and prevented a life threatening situation. Baby copperheads can not control their venom they release like adults. Baby venomous snakes release more venom then adults causing more dangerous situation if not treated asap. Wearing shoes isn't going to Matter with them!

Blaming the person who was hurt does not make you smarter. It does not make you better. It just shows your lack of compassion. Be a better human. 

I think Michael was more rejecting the use of sandals as a protective covering from snakebites. And it seems to make sense.  If someone lives in an environment that has a lot of snakes and doesn't take sufficient precaution, it's difficult to feel a great deal of sympathy because of self neglect.  I am supposing that this snake was living in a territory that was typically occupied by snakes. If she were bitten by a snake in Northen Canada while wearing sandals then I could feel significant sympathy for her. Right now (supposing it was a geographical area known to have snakes), my sympathy for her flip-flops.

This is by far the most disgusting comment I have ever read. Nice job blaming the victim. I hope you don't experience non-care and no empathy that you obviously can't extend toward others. 

If sandals are not shoes, why are they sold as the main summer footwear in shoe stores?  As for flip flops, mine are orthodic and I wear them everywhere, even church if they go with my outfit.  The only place I feel shoes that ENCLOSE the foot should be required are work job sites, while  doing lawn work, hiking and amusement park rides.


When will people realize that people who make stupid comments like this are not "people", they are #1 more than likely an ignorant child #2 an ignorant adult. Why does anyone pay any attention to these idiots? Would you pay attention to a screaming drunk on the street yelling opinions about a store clerk or whatever. I see this poster as a moron. Who in the hell would talk about the fact that the woman was wearing a certain type of shoes? I will tell you. Someone that has zero tolerance of compassion and zero empathy. Someone that blames the world for every problem they have. Someone who is irresponsible and worthless at this stage of their life. Narcissists don't change because people reward their behavior by giving them attention. Ignore these idiots. Reject them. They are not human


Michael sounds like someone who doesn't like women. First the snide comments about shoes, then his 'guess' about a cell phone "glued to her ear".

First off there should not be any reptiles inb any establishment. Michael must be the manager who don't care about his customers and their injuries. Michael get a life and start feeling what that customer feels. 

Lighten up people. Why must there always be blame placed?  Wild critters can get into just about anyplace.  Just be aware of your surroundings no matter where you are. 


Way to go jim very good answer and advice no need to speak with fork tongue

I grew up in the south, this is unfortunately the type of situation known well to those who live in the beautifull warm climate, as those who live in the cold climat deal with snow, ice and frost bite. it is unfortunate that such a thing would happen to anyone. it is not the rstaurants fault a it is not the fault of the individual who got bit. I hope that the restaurant checked to be sure there is not a nest somewhere in the store or close to, that is their only real responsibilty now that they aer aware of the possible situation at hand. sure they do feel bad and will do what they can to be sure it does not happen again, but reality is there really is nothing they can truely do to guarentee it will never happen again.  God Bless the lady who got bit, my prayers go out to you and your family and i hope you get better real soon with no lasting implication from the snake bite. they are such Nasty creature!, this is the onlt reason glad to live in a cold climate now, but the thuth be known i would move back to the hot in a heart beat and take my chances...Cj

I'm betting the snake was transported into the restaurant by someone, possibly as a sick joke - it didn't get there by itself. Not the restaurant's fault, nor the victim's fault. No one should have to wear boots into a restaurant just in case there's a snake in there. And the least at fault, the snake.  Unfortunate all around. I hope the woman is feeling better by now - that's a very painful bite..

Baby snakes get into all sorts of places one would not expect them to be, especially if there is a nest nearby the restaurant. It's easy for them to go undetected when they're small.

That poor woma, glad she's ok since those baby copperheads release all their venom in one bite!  As for her wearing sandals, so?  As for the restaurant having a baby snake inside the door, things happen sometimes that are really no one's fault.  Maybe all restaurants should hire a snake hunter to check out the establishment before anyone enters!  Stores, too!  Yes that's sarcasm.  

Yet another reason to be a vegetarian! Lol

She could have gone in to eat a salad! Why would you even write something that's so oblivious to this topic? Oh you just wanted to chime in with something silly!!!!!!!!


Brenda,   Lisa was making a joke.  She was implying that the snake was not behaving like a vegetarian.  A vegetarian would take a bite of salid. :)

It is a freak accident. Really folks? PA.MEDIC 18 YRS.

You are right Tim, we don't know if the wearer of sandals was a freak.

Apparently you’re not from the south, as you have no idea about snakes. I’m sure no one put it there. Snakes crawl in places all of the time, and often get into homes, and other buildings in the south, on a daily basis. So, to your, I won’t call it stupid, but uneducated comment, yes, snakes do just get into buildings on their on. 

Wow, rattle snake bits are bad. I'm glad that the woman is going to be okay. When rattle snakes are young their bits are really bad. I had to kill a baby in my basement a couple of years ago. It was dark in the basement and I thought I was reaching down to pick up some trash. It was all coiled up ready to strike when I killed with my shovel. It's amazing how fast one can move when they need to. 


It was a copperhead, not a rattlesnake.

Of course, the guy, Michael, should never open his mouth again, or even more stupidity might leak out. And I truly feel for that lady, whom is, I'm sure, in no way, shape, or form, to blame for any of what happened to her by that snake. And I hope she makes, or has made a full recovery. All of that said, I believe the restaurant should have offered her more than a free meal (which they may have, but it did not say). Whether they knew about having snakes around or not, it being on their premises makes them liable. I believe I would have done more for the lady because they are risking being sued.  

Not the poor snakes fault; not the restaurant's fault. It is us, as humans, that are at fault. We should all be conditioning our extremities from birth. By strapping your flesh for 2-3 hours a day, you will reduce the risks of snakes fangs being able to penetrate that flesh. If you take it further and strap your flesh 3-4 hours per day and if you use a cat-of-nine tails whip for 2-3 hours per day, you will be able to deflect bullets with your flesh; just like Superman, but without having to travel from a distant planet. Or, you can just sit back and relax. Mother Nature and Her creatures were here before ANY humans. We've moved into their habitats and should just accept that there will be some outcomes that won't be beneficial to neither species. As we encroach on their homes, we should expect to be the recipients of their defenses. 

Okay, guys...first of all...she was not romping around in a field or in the woods, she was walking into the FOYER of a restaurant. I've lived all over the US, including where Copperheads and several types of Rattlesnakes are common, and never once have I anticipated a venomous snake to be in a restaurant. The restroom out at the lake, under a pile of rocks or sticks or leaf litter...yes. In a steakhouse? Nope. 

Secondly, I very much doubt anyone brought the Copperhead into the restaurant for funsies. Nobody with an ounce of self-preservation is going to be carting around a venomous snake in their pocket or bare hands, even if it's a neonate. People who handle snakes use snake hooks, or escape-proof plastic cases, which would've been very obvious to the restaurant staff and everyone entering or leaving the premises. 

Thirdly, most of the time, snakes don't bite through shoes, unless they're extremely thin canvas or mesh or something of that nature. I've had a Pygmy Rattlesnake I failed to see strike my hiking boot  around the top side of the arch of my foot (just regular boot, not reinforced or anything) and it literally got its fangs stuck, but they didn't go through all the way and get me. He got the hatchet shortly after, since there wasn't a safe way to remove him from my boot, or remove my boot from my foot without chancing him wriggling loose and striking bare skin.

Also, the thing about neonate snakes' bites being worse is a total load of bull. They're smaller than an adult snake, but their venom is no stronger, so even if they were to completely empty their venom sacs (which they don't do; they're born with the instinct to only use as much venom as absolutely necessary) it would still be a lesser venom yield than the bite of an adult snake.

Lastly, snakes are experts at getting into places. They can almost flatten themselves to go under cracks in doors, and have even been known to go into uncovered pipe access or cracks in septic tanks and storm drains. Especially if you live in an older house or a rural area and there are venomous snakes native to your area at all, don't discount them chasing a mouse or juicy bug up the drain of your bathtub, sink, or toilet. 

Newer construction tends to have additional failsafes to (hopefully) prevent that sort of thing from happening via one-way venting and things of that nature, but if your house was constructed prior to about 2010, don't count on those being in place and its best to always turn on the lights before sitting on the throne or stepping into the shower.

Thank you for your replies to every ridiculous comment on this thread.  Good grief... the ignorance is frightening in this world.

I smell a lawsuit.  

The comments are more pathetic than the snake bite.

Don't you see it Michael, Anonymous, Lisa are one and the same. Her, him, they, them, their, ze, hit are just trying to stir the pot. Egos are for healthy people not unhealthy narcissists.

Doesn't anyone find it odd that the reporter is commenting about the snake "didn't like the looks of the real estate agents ....feet?" Since when do snakes discriminate on the looks of someone's feet? Ugly feet? I am sorry for the victim but I don't believe the snake was upset about the looks of her feet. 

Why did the snake have to die?


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