WEYMOUTH (CBS) – It was just before noon on sleepy Clarendon Street in South Weymouth.
As she does most every day, a 64-year-old grandmother was pushing a stroller down the street, with her 2-year-old grand daughter walking alongside.
That’s when she noticed the animal out of the corner of her eye.
WBZ-TV’s Ken MacLeod reports
“The woman sensed something to her back,” says police Lieutenant Thomas Farrell, “and thought it was a dog. But it ended up being a coyote.”
A brazen coyote, that lunged at the little girl.
“Came right at my niece,” says the victim’s aunt, Robin Gallagher. “It knocked her down and bit her in the back of the head. She screamed and her grandmother screamed.”
The family did not want to name the child — or provide a photo.
The bite opened a two-inch gash in the youngster’s head, and the chilling screams from both child and grandma prompted neighbor Elle Ramponi to scrambled from her house.
“When I saw the coyote I just yelled to her ‘Run! Get in here!’” says Ramponi. “I held the door open as the coyote chased them up to the back of my car. That baby was crying and bleeding.”
Grandma left the stroller behind in the street.
You might think all the commotion would scare off the coyote — but it didn’t. As Ramponi called 911 and tended to the child’s head cut, the animal anxiously paced the driveway and backyard for at least a few minutes.
“The coyote was circling the house — almost waiting,” says Gallagher.
“He knew the baby was in here,” adds Ramponi. “He just stood there and looked in that window back at me.”
By the time Weymouth Police, local animal control officers, and Environmental police arrived the coyote was long gone.
In a neighborhood filled with kids, many parents won’t be taking their toddlers out for walks anymore.
“No, I’d be petrified,” says Laura Finamore, holding her 19 month old daughter Janessa. “I don’t know what I’d do.”
Neighbor Denise Hatch believes she spotted the same coyote a week-or-so ago while walking her dogs.
“It looks like a German Shepherd,” says Hatch. “Like a scruffy German Shepherd that nobody takes care of.”
The bitten toddler has already begun shots to ward off rabies — based on the educated guesses of experts who surmise the coyote is rabid.
It took several stitches to close the girl’s head cut, but her family says she’s doing surprisingly well.
“She’s doing great,” says aunt Robin Gallagher standing on the families porch just around the corner from the attack scene. “She’s inside eating her mac and cheese right now. She’s a trooper!”
A trooper who was apparently an animal lover — at least until now.
Her family hopes this attack doesn’t change that.