CORAL SPRINGS, FLA. (WSVN) - A man said he came too close for comfort with a coyote while out jogging at a Coral Springs park, and the encounter landed him in the hospital with a leg injury.
In a phone interview with 7News, Isiah Presendieu said he went out for a jog at the Three Mountains Natural Area on Tuesday.
Of all the things that could happen during a workout at the park, being chased by a wild animal wasn’t one that had crossed his mind.
“I work out Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays,” he said.
On this particular Tuesday, Presendieu said, he and his friends caught the eye of a coyote.
“I started backing up, and then it was creeping up towards [my friend], and then when it noticed me, it started chasing me,” he said, “so that’s when I started running down the hill.”
Presendieu said the coyote continued to run in his direction, and that was when he felt his life was in danger.
“The coyote was still coming toward me,” he said. “I thought it was going to be over with.”
However, the victim said, he fell and badly injured his leg. Another parkgoer then spotted him.
“He had a gun on him,” said Presendieu.
The injured jogger said the witness fired at the coyote, and it ran away.
Michael Principato, a friend of Presendieu’s, was with him when he was attacked.
“Isiah was just screaming, ‘Ah, my leg! My leg!'” Principato said. “When it turned its head, you see the long snout, and then one of the guys, a guy who was with his family, and he yelled out. He was like, ‘Hey, guys, watch out! There is a coyote,’ and I looked, and I told Isiah. I was like, ‘Yo, there’s a coyote sitting right there.’ He was like, ‘For real, man? Just chill,’ so he started backing up, backing up.”
Principato said the animal began to circle curiously around the two friends.
“I had my shoe, and I was just circling around it trying to hit at it, trying to hit at it, and then, it came around, and Isiah just took off running,” he said.
Coral Springs-Parkland Fire Rescue crews transported Presendieu to an area hospital with torn ligaments in his knee.
“My leg was, like, paralyzed for 15 seconds,” he said.
Florida Fish and Wildlife officials say coyotes have been documented in all 67 counties, and they’re certainly no strangers to Broward County. Cellphone video captured a coyote in the backyard of a Coconut Creek home, Feb. 20.
Pictures taken at Three Mountains captured another coyote that was spotted by resident Isabella Catagan several weeks ago.
Catagan said she saw the animal after her dog, Molly, began barking incessantly.
When asked whether she thought the coyote was reacting to Molly’s barks, Catagan replied, “Yeah, he was, like, his ears were up, and he was looking over, like, ‘What is that? Is that a dog?'”
Catagan’s family said they’re going to keep a closer eye on Molly.
As for Presendieu, who had hoped to play college football, recovery will likely take months. He said he’s thankful for the neighbor who scared off that coyote.
“I probably wouldn’t be here right now,” he said.
Late Wednesday night, Coral Springs officials closed the Three Mountains Natural Area until further notice in the wake of recent coyote sightings.
When asked if he was scared, Principato said, “Yeah, I was scared. I was actually more worried about my friend because when it started chasing after him, that was when I was like, ‘Oh, OK, something is about to happen.'”
FWC officials said attacks on humans by coyotes are extremely rare. They are usually timid animals, and the best course of action to take when spotting one is to make a loud noise.
Presendieu was released from the hospital on Thursday.
Presendieu has set up a GoFundMe page to help with expenses for his recovery. If you would like to make a donation, click here.
FWC officials have posted information about coyotes on their website. For more information, click here.
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