Westerville Fast Food Restaurant Bans Woman With Python


UPDATED: Tuesday July 2, 2013 9:30 AM

A Westerville fast food restaurant banned a woman from the restaurant after she walked in with a three foot long python.

Virginia Clagg said she was running errands with her son and had her pet python named Sushi with her.

"Sushi is our three year old snake, ball python," Clagg said.

Clagg said Sushi is just one of the pets she owns. She said she uses the animals to teach children at her home daycare, but Sushi is the only one who gets to leave the house.

"She's been everywhere. Literally everywhere. Restaurants, Dairy Queen, Walmart," says Clagg. "She's very tame and the two-year-olds hold her. She's very docile. Nice, sweet snake."
            
Clagg said the python was with her while she ran errands last Friday. It included a stop at the pet store and at the McDonald's on Cleveland Avenue.

"This is the jacket I had on and I shoved Sushi down my sleeve and I had her inside my jacket."

Clagg said no one would have seen Sushi if her son hadn't said it out loud to the employees.

"A manager comes in and says you have to leave," Clagg said. "You can't keep a snake in here. I was like, okay. I get it. We're gonna go. Can I just have a bag for our food?"

Clagg said she was packing up her kids and their food, but apparently not fast enough for management. She said management ordered her out multiple times within a few minutes and then called police.

"Four different people, four different times: 'Leave! Leave! Leave!' And then calling the police on me? And I've got my children with me? Who does that?" Clagg said.

She knows many people would pose the question to her: who would bring a snake to a McDonald's?

"Right. I agree. Which is why she was in my jacket, which is why I was so quick to say,'sorry, yeah, I'm outta here'," she said, "But the 'you gotta leave! you gotta leave! you gotta leave!' and then calling the cops on me? They took that a little too far."

The owners of the McDonald's decided against pressing disorderly conduct charges against Clagg, but say they will pursue trespassing charges if she returns.

They did not want to talk on camera to 10TV, but said in a statement their top priority is the safety and well-being of their customers, which is why they have signage posted that pets are not allowed.

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