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Hide-and-snake: Routine traffic stop leads deputies to elusive python

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Benton County Deputy Hernandez displays the python he found riding on a suspect's shoulders during a traffic stop. (KEPR-TV News photo)

BENTON COUNTY, Wash. (KEPR) — File this one under "something you don't see every day."

The whole episode began over the weekend when a Benton County sheriff's deputy pulled over a car with expired tags during a routine traffic stop. The deputy then discovered that the 30-year-old driver had an expired license and a warrant out for his arrest.

And that's when the deputy spotted "Baby," a 4 1/2-foot Burmese python riding on the driver's shoulders.

The deputy removed Baby to the passenger seat while the driver was taken into custody - but when the deputy came back to the suspect's car to retrieve the snake, it was nowhere to be found.

It took a few cops and Baby's original owner about 45 minutes to find the writhing reptile, barricaded under the vehicle's center console.

The console was dismantled even as the car continued sitting along the curb where it was pulled over.

Sheriff's deputies say the driver was booked into jail, while Baby went home with her first family to wait for her owner.