Snake Death: 27-year-old Pennsylvania man dies days after pet wraps around neck in Lehigh County home

UPPER MACUNGIE TWP., Pa. (WPVI) — A Lehigh County man has died after an incident last week in which his pet snake wrapped around his neck, prompting an officer to shoot the reptile.

The video in the player above is from a previous report.

Elliot Senseman, 27, of Upper Macungie Township, was pronounced dead Sunday morning at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Cedar Crest, the Lehigh County Coroner’s Office said.

Officials said Senseman died of an anoxic brain injury due to asphyxiation from constriction. The coroner said the manner of death was accidental.

Police were called to Senseman’s home on the 1400 block of Church Street in Fogelsville around 2:12 p.m. last Wednesday.

When they arrived, a family member led them to Senseman, who was lying motionless on the ground with an 18-foot snake around his neck.

The coroner’s office said it was a boa constrictor-type snake.

One of the responding officers fatally shot the snake without injuring the man.

“Because the snake was so big, the middle part of the snake was wrapped around the throat. The snake’s head was just far enough away from the victim that the officer made a split-second decision and proceeded to shoot the snake in the neck,” said Lt. Peter Nickischer of the Upper Macungie Township Police Department.

Lt. Nickischer said the snake did not die immediately.

“It wasn’t like it just died. It started slipping away, thankfully away from the officers, away from the direction they were trying to pull this gentleman.” said Lt. Nicker. “They realized that making that decision is a matter of life and death in a matter of seconds. Praise the officials. They did what they had to do. It was a sure shot.”

Residents Action News spoke to them that they frequently saw their neighbor with a snake in his front yard, and they saw several snakes through the window.

Police said they had never responded to anything like this.

“I think one of the officers described it as a scene from a horror movie, and that’s probably the most accurate way to describe it,” Nickischer said.

In addition to the coroner’s office, Senseman’s death is being investigated by the Upper Macungie Township Police Department

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