The first victim of Thursday's rabid coyote attacks used a stick to fight off the animal.
Ana Adams was out for her usual morning walk with her dog Emma on the wooded trails near her Rockville, Maryland, home when she encountered the coyote about 10 a.m., unusual for a largely nocturnal animal. She tried to shoo it away.
“He just kept on looking at us and he came closer and closer, and I started to get really worried,” she said.
“Then he jumped on Emma, started to attack her, and she froze,” Adams said.
Adams tried to get the coyote off her dog, and then she became the prey.
“That’s when the coyote got me in a few points,” she said. “I don’t even know at that point, I fell down and I was on my back, and the coyote was biting my legs.”
She screamed, but no one heard her. So she found a big stick to defend herself.
“And the coyote went back,” she said. “It was kind of surprised, and that gave me time to get up. Then I noticed that Emma was still by my side.”
Emma, a rescue dog who had been abused by a previous owner, remained faithful, while the coyote remained determined, stalking them as they made her way toward home and blocking the path.
“It came back again, and I smacked him again,” Adams said. “We kept on going, and he kept going parallel.”
Finally, the coyote walked away. Adams and Emma made it home bloodied and bruised.
About five hours later, a child was bitten several times on a trail in a wooded area near Nelson Street and College Parkway. The child is expected to be OK.
Another woman was bitten about an hour after the child was attacked.
An officer found the coyote in a storm drain at Upper Watts Branch Park Thursday evening. It charged at the officer, who fired at the coyote, which ran away from the officer to a group of officers who had established a perimeter.
“We set up a perimeter; we saw it,” Rockville Police Chief Victor Brito said. “One of my officers saw it coming through a storm tunnel, charged him. He discharged his weapon towards the animal. We believe we struck the animal.”
The coyote was taken to a lab where it tested positive for rabies.
Coyotes are in every county in Maryland but typically stay out of sight. Trash, pet food and bird feeders can attract them.