Off-duty police officer saves child from coyote attackPosted: Updated:
An off-duty Irvington police officer saved a child from a coyote attack in Thornwood Sunday.
Irvington police officer Arcangelo Liberatore was off duty and enjoying a relaxing day with his family at Carroll Park in Thornwood, until he spotted a coyote. He, his wife and his children quickly got up and ran for their car.
Over his shoulder, Liberatore saw the coyote attacking a young girl, 5-year-old Natalia Petrellese.
Petrellese and her mother were in a playground when the coyote attacked, biting through Petrellese’s jacket.
Liberatore sprang into action, putting his weight on the coyote’s chest and wrestling the coyote against a garbage can.
Five minutes later, Mount Pleasant police officers arrived and shot and killed the coyote.
Liberatore said the coyote “turned and just acted like a rabid dog.”
“I've never seen an animal charge like that,” he said.
Liberatore and Petrellese are both recovering from their injuries.
Kasey King-Petrellese, the child’s mother, said of Liberatore’s actions, “It was extremely noble and courageous, and I don't know what would have happened if he didn't come and help us.”
The coyote's body is currently with the county Department of Health for rabies testing.