What to Know
- A fox has attacked three people in Yorktown in Westchester County over the weekend, officials say
- The fox is believed to be rabid because of its aggressive behavior
- Residents who see a stray or wild animal acting strangely should avoid contact with the animal and alert local authorities
The Westchester Health Department is warning residents to be on the lookout for a possibly rabid fox that is thought to be behind at least three attacks on humans over the weekend.
The first attack happened Saturday at around 6 a.m., when the fox bit a jogger on Lee Boulevard in Yorktown, officials said. The fox then bit another man in his backyard on North Deerfield Road at 8:30 a.m., and then a bit a woman in her backyard at 12:30 p.m. Sunday.
The woman bitten in her backyard showed News 4 photos of the fox in the yard before the attack.
"I walked into the yard, started waving my hands to get it to leave, and it got it charging at me," Kathy Coakley recounted Monday, still wearing hospital bands from the injury.
"It jumped up on me, it was on my arm, and I kind of pushed it away. Fell to the ground, but jumped right back. Kept coming at me," she said. "At one point, I had it pinned on the ground, tried to push it to the side. It tried to bite my hand at that point."
The fox eventually bit Coakley on the knee and possibly her foot, requiring seven painful anti-rabies injections, with three more trips to the doctor planned.
The other two victims are also getting preventive rabies treatment, health officials said.
Another woman who lives next door to the man who was attacked on North Deerfield Avenue also took photos of the fox. She managed to avoid being bitten but said she had to use a car door to shield herself from the animal as it charged at her.
"He came right up to my passenger side door," said Emily Marino. "You could tell he was rabid. His eyelids were hanging low."
Marino said the fox stayed there for 15 minutes, and by the time police responded, it had gotten away.
Another resident on North Deerfield Avenue, Ted Turner, said he saw his neighbor get bitten.
"He was over by his pool, came around the corner, and boom, the fox was right on him," he said. "He couldn't get it off his leg. He was shaking his foot."
Residents who see a stray or wild animal acting strangely should avoid it and alert local authorities. They should also keep their trash can lids securely sealed and avoid leaving pet food outdoors.
All animal bites or contact with animals suspected of having rabies must be reported to Westchester County Department of Health at 914-813-5000, 24 hours a day. For more information, visit www.westchestergov.com/health or call the RABIES INFOLINE at (914) 813-5010.