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Woman with snake around neck crashes into NY firehouse

Sarah Espinosa, 22, of Albany, allegedly crashed into a firehouse on Long Island and was found with a stolen snake around her neck, police said.
Photo Credit: Nassau County Police Dept.

A New York woman was arrested Monday night after she crashed her car through the front of a firehouse on Long Island and when rescuers tried to pull her out of the vehicle, they found a snake wrapped around her neck, Nassau County police said.

Sarah Espinosa, 22, of Albany, was held on $5,000 bail on Tuesday after her arraignment at First District Court in Hempstead. She was charged with second-degree reckless endangerment, reckless driving, driving while intoxicated, petit larceny and unlawful possession of marijuana. She was represented at her arraignment by the Legal Aid Society, which maintains a policy of not commenting on individual cases.

Investigators said Espinosa was behind the wheel of her 2010 Toyota Prius and traveling westbound along Jericho Turnpike in New Hyde Park around 7 p.m. on Monday when she allegedly drove over a raised center median, collided with two street signs and crashed into another car. Police said she continued driving and slammed through the front garage door of the New Hyde Park Fire Department and crashed into two fire trucks that were parked inside.

Police said fire department personnel were inside the firehouse when Espinosa allegedly careened through the door. When rescuers approached her, they spotted a ball python around her neck, police said. Investigators said Espinosa had allegedly stolen the snake – valued at $89.99 – from a Petco store in Garden City Park just minutes before the crash, according to court papers.

Police said Espinosa smelled of alcohol and had red and glassy eyes, according to court papers. Officers said she had slurred speech and seemed confused during questioning. She also allegedly refused to provide a blood sample to determine her blood-alcohol content.

Authorities said Espinosa was also allegedly found in possession of marijuana. Court papers said officers recovered a “green leafy substance” and a glass pipe in a backpack in the car, while they were impounding the vehicle.