A Lake Elsinore man could lose his hand after trying to take a selfie photo with a rattlesnake that ended up biting him, the man's mother told CBS2.
The man told paramedics that he was bitten while working, but 36-year-old Alex Gomez's mother told reporters a different tale. And she had the pictures to back it up.
When Gomez heard his mother was granting interviews to local media, he pleaded with her to not talk.
"I said 'I'm going to,'" Deborah Gomez said. "Yeah, I'm going to teach him a real good lesson when he gets home. No mercy for him."
Deborah Gomez said her son's skin was "rotting away" near the wound.
"I'm shocked he would have that thing around his neck," Deborah Gomez told CBS2. "It could've bit his neck and that would've been it. That's just being a fool."
Photos broadcast by the station showed Alex Gomez wearing sunglasses and stretching out a snake near his face. Sometime after that photo was taken, the rattlesnake sunk its fangs into his hand.
"It was really thick…. It was rattling, it was pretty mad, yeah," Gomez's nephew, Ronnie, told the station.
Riverside County paramedics responded to the home on the edge of the Santa Ana Mountains and rushed Gomez to the hospital. There was no sign of the snake, said Riverside County Fire Department spokeswoman April Newman.
Paramedics aren't equipped with antivenom, she said. So the medics marked the spot of the bite, outlining the swelling on his hand so that doctors could better tell how the wound was reacting to the snake bite, Newman said.