Entries in D.C. (4)


Cottonmouth Viper 'Spit' Sends National Zoo Employee to Hospital

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock (file)(WASHINGTON) -- What do you get when you mix snake urine, feces and venom? For a reptile keeper at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., the toxic concoction got her a quick trip to the hospital and a star appearance Monday on the District of Columbia Fire Department's twitter feed.

"EMS - snake bite - National Zoo - 3001 Connecticut Av NW - health unit - adult employee bit by snake," DC Fire and EMS tweeted at 4 p.m. Monday, still breaking in its new Twitter account.

That snippet was soon followed by this one:

"Update - Zoo - Cotton Mouth Viper 'spit' at keeper - EMS evaluated & transported adult female - checkup not serious anti-venom on board."

It turns out that while the reptile keeper was attempting to transfer a three-foot-long cottonmouth viper to its holding cage, the snake bit itself in the tail, releasing a combination of urine, feces and venom. A small amount of that mixture shot into the employee's right eye.

After securing the snake, the employee was helped to an eye-wash station near the snake habitat and then to the zoo's health unit where her eye was rinsed again. "As an abundance of caution, she was sent to the hospital," zoo spokeswoman Pamela Baker-Masson said.

Both the snake and the zoo keeper are "absolutely fine," Baker-Masson said.

Cottonmouths, also known as water moccasins, can "cause very severe, and even sometimes fatal, damage when they bite. But this is very uncommon because the cottonmouths are normally not very aggressive creatures," according to the zoo's web site.

Their venom breaks down blood cells, preventing clotting and potentially causing hemorrhages.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Washington Government Buildings Ordered Evacuated

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- The Capitol and other government buildings in Washington, D.C., were evacuated for a short time Saturday when an unauthorized aircraft entered restricted airspace.

Fighter jets were scrambled from Andrews Air Force Base when a US Airways Express plane briefly lost radio contact. The jets returned to Andrews after the plane re-established its connection, NORAD said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Terrorist Threat Posted on Facebook Leads to Arrest

Photo Courtesy - Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- A Virginia resident, who authorities say chatted on Facebook about blowing up Washington, D.C. subway cars, has been arrested and charged with making threats across state lines.

The FBI alleges that Awais Younis, who was born in Afghanistan but now lives in Arlington, Virginia, made comments online about placing pipe bombs on crowded metro subway cars and under a manhole cover in Georgetown.

Authorities say when a friend responded to the Facebook comment by saying “You wouldn’t do that.”  Younis allegedly replied, “Watch me.”   The friend then contacted the FBI.

Investigators say on his Facebook page Younis, who is in his 20s, is seen posing with an AK-47 assault rifle outside a tent in Afghanistan.  The photo's caption is, “My family business.”

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


FBI Increases Reward in DC Military Shootings

FBI Washington Field Office. Photo Courtesy - FBI dot gov(WASHINGTON) -- The Federal Bureau of Investigation Monday announced an increased reward of up to $20,000 for anyone who can provide information that will lead investigators to the "identification, arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for shootings at five military-related installations in Northern Virginia."

All five shootings, which occurred at military facilities during the late night or early morning hours of Oct. 16 to Oct. 17, Oct. 19, Oct. 25 to 26, Oct. 28 to 29 and Nov. 1 to 2, have been linked to a single weapon.

"We are following every lead that comes in and continue to call for the assistance of the public in helping us identify the person or persons responsible," said John G. Perren, acting assistant director in charge of the FBI's Washington Field Office.

Prince William County posted the initial reward at just $1,000.  Now, the Justice Department has signed off on the recent increase "in support of the joint investigation" by the FBI, Fairfax County Police, Pentagon Force Protection Agency and Prince William County Police.

"We are confident that someone out there has additional information that will be helpful to this investigation,"  Perren added.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio 

ABC News Radio