PORT CHESTER, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – There’s a rabies alert for residents in Westchester County.
A rabid raccoon attacked several people over the weekend in Port Chester and there could be more sick ones out there.
CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge spoke to one man who was bitten.
“I heard like a squeak behind me turned around there’s this raccoon. So I went like this. Get away,” Frank Maida said.
Maida was gardening in his backyard on Halstead Avenue on Sunday when a raccoon attacked him.
“His claw went right here then he bit me right about here and he had a grip on me… he wouldn’t let go, finally left me,” the Port Chester man said.
The 75-year-old says his wife made him go to the hospital and it’s a good thing he did because the animal turned out to be rabid.
“The doctor told me if this would’ve been 100 years ago I would’ve been dead in five weeks.”
Rabies is still fatal if untreated. So Frank got shots and then went back for a checkup on Wednesday.
A couple of blocks away a woman and her dog tells CBS2 she narrowly avoided the raccoon Sunday as well.
“It was acting very odd as if it was rabid. It was walking very slowly as if it was intoxicated,” Linda Salov said.
Two others did get bitten; an 84-year-old woman and a 33-year-old man on Willett Avenue.
That man didn’t want to appear on camera but tells CBS2 he was just standing here on the sidewalk when the raccoon came out of nowhere and bit him on the ankle. He says his dad was nearby and used this tool to kill it.
“We don’t want to encourage people to get that close because you don’t necessarily have to be bitten by it for them to give you rabies virus,” Richard Conway, the chief of Port Chester police said.
Police say if you come in contact with any rabid animal immediately go to the hospital and alert officials so they can catch it and test it.
Though Maida says he’d rather avoid it.
“Why didn’t the darn thing just go straight and leave me alone!” Maida said.
Police have checked an abandoned house on the street where some residents think it may have been living with a family. Once one animal has rabies they can easily pass it along to others.