Traveling ‘Venom’ team player gets a souvenir snake bite in KC

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KANSAS CITY, Mo.  – A Branson, Missouri family has a crazy story to tell when they get home.

They were in town for a soccer tournament and ended up staying a couple extra days with their son in the hospital.

Ten-year-old Carlton Epps was between soccer games when he tripped and fell.  He landed on a copperhead.

Carlton is responding well and is chomping at the bit to get out of Children's Mercy Hospital.

His parents say he's handled the entire ordeal very well; not surprising considering the name of is travelling team, Venom.

Frank and Deanna Epps couldn't help but get a laugh out of the irony.

"It was right there in the park, close to the fields," said Frank Epps

Frank Epps didn't doubt his son for a second; especially once he saw his hand.

"When he sticks his arm out, I see puncture wounds and blood coming out, knew something bad had bit him," explained Epps.

Bill Graham with the Missouri Department of Conservation says snakes are common in Missouri and rarely go on the offensive.

"They're not an aggressive snake most of the time when there’s an accidental bite by a copper head, somebody just accidentally stepped on one or reached under rock or log and snake has been there," he said.

Epps says living in the country just outside Branson helped him identify the snake.

"It was a copperhead so we knew right away what it was needed to take action to get him somewhere," said Epps.

The Epps called an ambulance after having trouble getting directions to the nearest hospital.

Carlton took everything in stride and asked his dad just two simple questions.

"He goes ‘Dad, be honest with me, was the snake poisonous, and can I still play today?’" said Epps.

His dad said yes and no. Carlton was more bummed he couldn't play in the second game. But the team rallied around him. They said a prayer, then went out and won 3-1.

As for Carlton's parents, this was the last thing they thought could happen.

"You're always expecting a concussion, a broken arm, maybe even a broken leg, you never expect a snake bite at a soccer game," said Epps

They hope to head home Tuesday.

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