Off-duty officer throttles coyote during playground attack

April 30, 2018 - 1:22 pm

THORNWOOD, N.Y. (AP) — An off-duty police officer jumped on a coyote and throttled it as the animal attacked a 5-year-old girl on a suburban New York playground.

Kasey King-Petrellese (peht-rehl-EE'-see) tells WNBC that the coyote appeared out of nowhere and ran "like a cheetah" toward her daughter, Natalia, and 3-year-old son on Sunday in Thornwood.

The family fled but the coyote caught up to them. King-Petrellese kicked and punched the animal as it moved in and bit Natalia.

Off-duty Irvington Officer Arcangelo Liberatore says he put his hands around its neck and "tried to squeeze the life out of it."

Mount Pleasant police then shot and killed it.

Everyone got rabies shots.

The Westchester County Health Department is testing the coyote's remains.

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