MOUNT PLEASANT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – An off-duty police officer is being credited with helping a mom save her daughter from an aggressive coyote on Sunday, the latest in an ongoing series of attacks on people and pets in Westchester County.
Kasey King-Petrellese and 5-year-old Natalia Petrellese were in James M. Carroll Park when the animal charged the girl and began biting her. Kasey fought the coyote but the animal would not relent.
That’s when off-duty Irvington police officer Arcangelo Liberatore stepped in and wrestled the coyote off the girl, pinning it until animal control or police could arrive and dispatch the animal.
Both mother and daughter were later treated at a local hospital where Natalia was given rabies shots, stitches and antibiotics. Her 3-year-old son was also at the park but was unharmed.
The attack affirms the worst fears Westchester County residents have about aggressive coyote problems after several attack on people and pets this spring.
One close call encounter last March in Yonkers was captured on surveillance video as a woman’s son was seen darting into a car to escape.
Also in March, Hastings-on-Hudson public parks closed while officials searched for a coyote that bit three residents and killed a Yorkshire terrier on Wednesday.
A Westchester County police officer and a mail carrier were among people bitten by the coyotes, some of which have tested positive for disease.
Officials aren’t sure how many coyotes are involved in the attacks. They urge residents to be aware, take precautions and report to police any contact with the creatures.