This is my favorite local police blotter item of the summer, from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's station in Marina del Rey. And I quote:
On July 31, 2015 at approximately 4 p.m., deputies responded to the front steps of the Marina Del Rey Sheriff’s Station regarding reports of a rattlesnake sighting. When deputies arrived on scene they encountered a large rattlesnake on the steps, which are utilized by the public to conduct daily business. The rattlesnake was approximately four to five feet in length.
The deputies attempted to confine the rattlesnake while awaiting the arrival of animal control. During the encounter the deputies were able to briefly confine the rattlesnake, but it escaped and began to quickly move towards the Marina bicycle path which was heavily populated with bicyclists, pedestrians walking their dogs, as well as mothers walking with their children. The deputies identified the immediate threat to the public and became concerned for the safety of the residents and visitors on the bicycle path.
Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control arrived on scene and a joint effort ensued to try to safely capture the rattlesnake. The rattlesnake moved quickly and the safety of the deputies and the animal control agent became compromised. The deputies and animal control placed themselves in harm’s way to try to capture the rattlesnake since a safe distance for a rattlesnake sighting is approximately 15 feet.
Deputies in conjunction with animal control, made a decision to end the rattlesnake’s life to prevent it from biting a member of the public because it’s [sic] safe capture could not be accomplished.
The rattlesnake, according to animal control, carried enough venom to cause death to several large adults. It is believed that the rattlesnake may have migrated from the nearby Ballona Wetlands.
Unfortunate ending to the story, but at least no one was bitten.