A Florida man is in the hospital after being bit in the face by a water moccasin.
Austin Hatfield, 18, had caught the deadly snake in his girlfriend’s backyard in Wimauma, near Tampa.
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He then put the poisonous reptile in a pillow case and kept it on his bed.
He held the cottonmouth and practiced kissing it on the head, until one day, the snake had had enough.
One of Hatfield’s friends, Jason Belcher, was there the day Hatfield was bitten on the lip, recalling, "he took it out, put it on his chest and it was acting funny, and it jumped up and got him.”
"He ripped it off his face, threw it on the ground and he started swelling up immediately," Belcher explains.
That’s when the teen bolted out of his bedroom and began yelling that he needed to get to the hospital.
"It was pretty frightening,” Belcher continues, “We've done a lot of stuff together. This is the one thing that scared me the most."
Hatfield was rushed to Tampa General Hospital in critical condition.
Several rounds of antivenom had to be administered and the teen had to be ventilated because swelling had closed off his airway.
FWC spokesperson Officer Baryl Martin states Hatfield did not have a permit to possess venomous reptiles and captured the snake illegally.
The snake was killed so that it could be identified and the correct antivenom could be administered.
Hatfield has since been upgraded to good condition.