Fairfield (NJ) Police said at approximately 6:56 P.M., Fairfield police officers were dispatched to the Fairfield Recreation Complex, located at 221 Hollywood Avenue, to investigate a report of a coyote that just attacked two people.
The initial investigation revealed that a 37-year-old female from Fairfield was walking in the park pushing her 4-year-old son in a stroller. She was in the area between the tennis courts and the Fairfield Community Pool, which is adjacent to a wooded area.
Police say, as she was walking, another individual who was also walking alerted her to the fact that there was a coyote walking directly behind her. When the female turned around to see for herself, the coyote lunged at her. The victim fell to the ground and the stroller tipped over. The coyote allegedly bit the adult female on the back of her leg.
The coyote then attempted to go after the child, biting him on his right leg. At this time, other individuals began to run towards the victim at which time she was able to get up and right the stroller.
She attempted to flee at which time the coyote again lunged at her. The coyote then ran into the adjacent wooded area. Both victims were transported to an area hospital for treatment and evaluation.
The Fairfield Police Department immediately closed the recreation complex to all additional activities to include a youth soccer game on the park’s turf field and a pick-up basketball game on the courts.
The New Jersey Conservation Department, the Department of Environmental Protection, and Associated Humane were all contacted for assistance and responded.
Police officers then began searching the immediate area for the coyote.
Police say at approximately 8:36 P.M., Sergeant Frank Tracey was in the area of 244 Big Piece Road when he thought he saw a coyote traveling along a fence line. He exited his police vehicle with his M4 patrol rifle and made his way into the back yard. He initially noticed a cat in the yard and thought that is what he saw.
A few moments later, a coyote emerged from behind a pool and began to approach the officer aggressively. In order to protect himself, the officer fired several shots, striking the coyote and killing it.
The Associated Humane Society took possession of the carcass in order to conduct testing for rabies.
As this incident was unfolding, several residents along Big Piece Road notified the police that a resident’s Doberman Pincher was attacked last evening by a coyote.
It is unclear if this is the same animal as the residents described that coyote as being much larger. Several Big Piece Road residents have reported seeing and hearing a large number of coyotes behind their homes.
“The Fairfield Police Department is still cautioning all residents in the area of Big Piece Road and all those who use the recreation complex that they still need to exercise great caution when walking around their yards or in the park” said Chief Anthony G. Manna.
“The police department intends to deploy officers with rifles in the park and at several scheduled events taking place at the community pool and a nearby school to assure the safety of the public as best as we can” said the chief