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Coyote Concerns In Westchester County Following Reports Of Several Attacks

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Coyote concerns continued Friday in Westchester County following several attacks on people and pets.

As CBS2's Marc Liverman reported Friday night, at least eight people have bitten since the attacks began Wednesday. A dog and some sheep were killed.

It's the talk among many at Raceway Diner in Yonkers, like Anthony Serratore, who is a parent.

"It's scary with kids and pets," he told CBS2's Janelle Burrell. "You gotta watch."

One close call encounter overnight Thursday in Yonkers was captured on surveillance video as Donna Nolan's son was seen darting into a car to escape.

"When my son came in last night, I mean he was shaking," Nolan said.

Thursday night near Dunwoodie golf course also in Yonkers, police spread out trying to corner an aggressive coyote spotted there.

"It's pretty nerve-racking, especially with the helicopter above us," one resident said.

The chopper was tracking a coyote suspected of going after an officer.

"The coyote did bite a Westchester County police officer and at that time, the animal was shot and is deceased," said police spokesman Kieran O'Leary.

Just before noon Thursday, an ambulance responded after authorities say one bit the leg of a mail carrier.

"It's kind of scary, obviously. I have cats and I try to keep them in the house," said John Poli, who lives just a few houses away. "The ambulances were here, the cops were here. It was really terrible for something like that to happen."

He said his neighbor saw two in her backyard.

"She said they looked like big dogs," said Poli.

And she wasn't the only one.

"My neighbor also said that her husband saw two moving around in the middle of the day," Lindell Henry said.

In Hastings-on-Hudson, public parks are closed while officials search for the coyote that bit three residents and killed a Yorkshire terrier on Wednesday.

"I have not seen so many incidents in such a short period of time in one area," Yonkers Police Commissioner Charles Gardner told Liverman.

Neither have residents.

"I've never seen it this close in a built up neighborhood like this," said Henry.

So they aren't taking any chances.

"I run in and out with the dog," one woman said.

Hours earlier, another coyote was struck by a vehicle and later humanely destroyed.

Vicki Cresswell is now watching her dogs closely. Her neighbor was among those bitten.

"Out of nowhere, this coyote runs up behind him, bites him in the leg and takes off," she said. "Broke the skin obviously and so he was going to go to the hospital."

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.

Authorities have been using helicopters and heat sensors in wooded areas, where the coyotes have been sighted. Yonkers police temporarily stopped tracking them Friday because of the storm.

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