A snake stolen from a local PETCO was found wrapped around the neck of an alleged drunken driver who crashed into a New Hyde Park fire house Monday night, Nassau County police said.

Sarah Espinosa, 22, of Albany, was driving a Toyota Prius westbound on Jericho Turnpike just after 7 p.m. when she drove over the center median, hit a Nissan Maxima and barreled through the front garage door of the New Hyde Park firehouse, police said.

Firefighters made the surprise snake discovery when they assisted the woman after the crash. Police said the small ball python, which was wrapped around Espinosa’s neck, was secured at the scene.

A Nassau police spokeswoman said it’s unknown at this time if the snake or Espinosa’s alleged intoxication caused the dramatic crash.

Police later determined that Espinosa allegedly stole the snake from a Garden City Park PETCO just prior to the crash, police said.

Espinosa was charged with reckless endangerment, petit larceny, reckless driving, driving while intoxicated and unlawful possession of marijuana.

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She will be arraigned Tuesday at First District Court in Hempstead.


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Rashed Mian has been covering local news for the Long Island Press since 2011. He graduated from Hofstra University in 2010 where he studied print journalism. Rashed, the staff's multimedia reporter, covers daily news for the web, shoots/edits feature videos and writes about civil liberties. He loves Afghan food and sports. Rashed is also a caffeine freak. Email: rmian@longislandpress.com. Twitter: rashedmian