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Snake was shading under a car at Walmart. Then these 2 brought lighter fluid, police say

In this 1999 Charlotte Observer file photo, two brown water snakes intertwine soaking in the sun perched on an old cypress tree in North Carolina. A brown water snake was shading under a car at a Walmart in southeastern North Carolina in May when two people showed up with lighter fluid, police said. Two were charged this week with animal cruelty in the case.
In this 1999 Charlotte Observer file photo, two brown water snakes intertwine soaking in the sun perched on an old cypress tree in North Carolina. A brown water snake was shading under a car at a Walmart in southeastern North Carolina in May when two people showed up with lighter fluid, police said. Two were charged this week with animal cruelty in the case. Charlotte Observer

A brown water snake was shading under a car at a Walmart. Then two people showed up with lighter fluid, police said.

The pair hit the snake, ran over part of it with a truck, spread the lighter fluid on the snake and then lit it ablaze until it died, Greenville CBS-TV affiliate WNCT reported of the May 16 encounter. The Walmart is in Richlands in southeastern North Carolina..

A viral video of the fire prompted an investigation by Onslow County Animal Services, according to The (Jacksonville) Daily News.

The video showed a type of blow torch being used on the snake, Spectrum News reported.

This week, 22-year-old Garen Whittington of Jacksonville, N.C., and 17-year-old Dustin Shearin of Trenton, N.C., were charged with animal cruelty, WNCT reported.

After the attack, Walmart issued a statement saying, "We do not tolerate the mistreatment of animals and are working with Animal Control Officers to quickly and thoroughly investigate the actions shown in the video," The Daily News reported.

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067; @jmarusak
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