Police shoot, kill coyote after mom and son were attacked in park

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Police shot and killed a coyote that may have attacked a mother and her 3-year-old son as they walked through Essex County.

The attack occurred shortly before 7 p.m. Thursday in Hollywood Avenue Park in Fairfield.

Tatiana says that she was with her son Eric and young daughter Maya in the park when they noticed the animal.

“We were actually pretty close, maybe only 50 feet into the entrance where we saw a coyote from a distance sprinting at us,” she says.

The coyote knocked her over, along with the stroller carrying Maya. The animal bit her on the backside and Eric on the leg. Tatiana says that the coyote went to attack her daughter too, but couldn’t reach her.

“The coyote tried to jump on her, she was sitting a little deeper into the stroller - so he was close to her face, but didn't get to her,” she says.

Police officers did shoot and kill a coyote in a nearby yard shortly after the attack, but they aren’t confident that it is the same animal. As a precaution, the parks and rec department has put up fencing to keep people out of the wooded areas surrounding the park. They have also set up traps.

“Just because we did eliminate one threat of a coyote doesn't mean that there’s still not a threat in this park and around Big Piece Road,” says Fairfield Police Chief Anthony Manna. “We do have [the Department of] Fish and Game out today looking for dens of coyotes just to see if we can track them and take whatever action that needs to be done."

The coyote is being tested for rabies. Tatiana and her son are receiving rounds of rabies shots as a precaution.

Authorities are advising anyone working in the park to walk in pairs and to have a stick or something to make noise to scare off animals.

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