Off-duty cop fights coyote attacking girl in Westchester

An off-duty cop enjoying an afternoon in a park in Westchester County with his family saved a girl from a coyote attack by subduing the animal with his bare hands.

Arcangelo Liberatore, of the Irvington Police Department, saw a coyote come out of the woods at James M. Carrol Park in Thornwood Sunday afternoon. He and his wife then hurried to get their children to safety when he heard screaming.

Liberatore went back into the park and saw the coyote attacking a 5-year-old girl. The girl's mother punched the coyote several times and then Liberatore jumped on it, grabbed its neck, and slammed its head into the ground.

He tried to strangle the coyote but it fought to survive. He restrained it with his hands and body until Mount Pleasant police officers arrived and fatally shot the coyote.

Liberatore was treated for an injury to his hand.

The 5-year-old girl received stitches and medication.

The Westchester County Health Department will test the coyote for rabies.

With the Associated Press