Chicago coyote attack? Boy, 3, hurt in possible coyote attack near Columbus Park

A three-year-old boy was hurt after his family says they mistook a coyote for a dog.
November 14, 2013 8:41:16 PM PST
In an ABC7 Eyewitness News exclusive, the family of a three-year-old boy says he was hurt after they mistook a coyote for a dog.

Coyote attacks on humans are rare. They're more a threat to your pets. But Cook County Animal Control officials confirm four coyotes were captured here in Columbus Park after a boy who lives nearby was reported bitten.

Weeks later, the injury still looks bad, but loved-ones of three-year-old Emeil Hawkins say he's going to be okay.

"You can see how close it is to the neck, to the eye, to the mouth, to the nose. . . It could have been a lot worse, but at the same time it was tragic. It's been horrible," said Bryce Kyle, who lives near Columbus Park.

On Thursday night, Bryce Kyle-- the boyfriend of the boy's mother-- showed ABC7 Eyewitness News the alley where it happened, a couple hundred yards from Columbus Park.

"This was a single animal that approached Emeil, but there were several animals a little further down the alley," said Kyle.

Kyle says Emeil was with his mom and initially thought the animal was a German shepherd.

It became aggressive, Kyle says, when Emeil tried to feed it a snack.

"My girlfriend noticed that the animal hissed and kind of yelped. At this time, she ran for her son," said Kyle.

Emeil was rushed to a hospital and Cook County Animal Control says it later captured four coyotes nearby.

Neighborhood residents say they're a common sight in Columbus Park, as seen in photos taken in 2010.

"You'll see them. They'll be looking at you. If you drive through there with your headlights, you'll see them. They'll come to you," said Laynette Collins, who lives near Columbus Park.

Last month, the ABC 7 I-Team spotted a coyote prowling around west suburban Riverside, resembling a scrawny dog until a closer look.

Since being bitten, Emeil's family says he's tested negative for rabies but has had to endure a series of shots as a precaution.

"Let's talk to our children. Let's let them know that these are not the types of animals we want to pet. These are not the types of animals that we want to come around," said Kyle.

Cook County Animal Control says those four coyotes tested negative for rabies. They were eventually euthanized. Officials say never feed a coyote, and if you are approached by one, stand firm, make a loud noise, and they'll usually run away.


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