MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A Florida City neighborhood started the long holiday weekend with an unexpected visitor.

A 12 foot python showed up inside the entrance to Gateway Estates Park, located at 35250 SW 177th Court, about 9 p.m. Thursday.

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“When I seen something in the middle of the road, I thought it was a palm frond. When I got closer I swerved the bike out of the way and the kids were freaking out,” explained Juan Rivero who had just returned from a bike ride with his son and a friend.

“I jumped off the bike and I ran. I was scared. I’ve never seen that before,” said Rivero’s 12-year-old son.

“I didn’t dare to touch it. It was pretty big,” said Rivero.

(Source: Daryl Brooks)

(Source: Daryl Brooks)

The group called Rivero’s friend Daryl Brooks who lives in the neighborhood and has a lot of experience with snakes. Brooks told CBS4’s Maggie Newland she expected a smaller snake.

“It was huge. I said, ‘Oh my God, it’s a python!’ and the head was bigger than my hand,” she said. She didn’t hesitate when she saw the snake.

“I tell you this woman is an adventurous woman. She chased the thing down,” said Rivero.

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The snake quickly slithered under a neighbor’s barbecue grill.

SLIDESHOW: Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Venom Team Captures 12 Foot Python From BBQ Grill

“I was afraid to grab her myself because she was strong so there was a guy coming out. I looked at him and I said, ‘Are you afraid of snakes?’ and he said ‘No,’ and I said, ‘Come over here’… I pulled the barbecue grill back and they got it out and we wrestled it, and it tried to wrap around the man’s arm and stuff, but we held it,” said Brooks.

Rivero added, “The owner of the house brought us a pillow case and eventually the tail just went into the pillowcase, so we had to use the barbecue cover to get it it and we held it for a good 30-45 minutes.”

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue’s Venom Response team removed the snake from the neighborhood. Firefighters say it will be turned over to FWC.

Watch: Maggie Newland’s Report 


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