Dad Strangles Coyote With Bare Hands After it Attacks Toddler Son
WBZ Boston

"It wasn't really much of a choice," the hero dad said.

A New Hampshire man strangled a coyote to death with his bare hands after it attacked his two-year-old son.

Ian O'Reilly was out walking with his wife and three children in Exeter on Monday when the wild animal suddenly struck, grabbing the child's jacket and dragging him to the ground.

After getting between his boy and the dog, he tried to scare the animal off, kicking it, but it continued to come at them.

"It was snapping and attacking and lunging," he told WMUR9. "It wasn't really much of a choice."

He then jumped on top of the coyote, and was bitten on the chest and arm in the struggle. He managed to lock up its snout and push his head into the snow, using his own body-weigh to cut off its air supply.

It took ten minutes for the animal to die.

"In the middle of the moment you're not really thinking or recording a whole lot," he said. "It's really just instinct. The fact that when we tried to kick and push and get rid of him, it became clear that he was not disengaging."

"Never underestimate the power of survival," he added.

The little boy escaped unharmed.

Police are trying to determine if the animal was the same one involved in two separate attacks nearby.

Earlier that day, police said a car had been attacked by a coyote in Hampton Falls.

"It wouldn't move for the car, and then attacked the car as it tried to get by," Kensington Police Chief Scott Cain said.

Just 20 Minutes before that, a woman and her dog were both attacked and bitten by a coyote, after initially thinking it was someones pet.

"I realized this was a coyote, and I just started screaming at the top of my lungs to try to get him to stop and go away," Pat Lee said. "It was very, very scary, but it could've been a lot worse."

She fled into her house, but the animal tried to chase her inside.

"I don't even know if I realized the coyote was chasing us at that point to be honest," she said. "I just was trying to run into the house as fast as I could, and just as I got to the slider it bit me and it was trying to get into the house."

The dead coyote was being tested for rabies, while all of the bite victims were given rabies shots.

Meanwhile in California, a three year-old boy was hospitalized after being attacked by a mountain lion in a park in Orange County that same day.

The boy was walking with five other family members when the lion grabbed him by the neck and attempted to drag him off.

The animal only released the boy when his father threw a backpack at it, and it went after the backpack instead.

The state's Department of Fish and Wildlife gave approval to euthanize the animal "due to the public safety threat."