SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- A coyote attacked a four-year-old girl in Chula Vista on Saturday evening, just as her family was preparing for an evening out.
Faith Omoobajesu said the coyote went after his daughter Isabella, who stood in their driveway on Idanan Road around 8 p.m. Saturday. Faith saw the coyote in the street and said he tried to wave everyone inside. But the coyote quickly blew past him and attacked Isabella, grazing her arm with its teeth. Surveillance video shows the animal darting across the driveway, before running away after Faith chased it.
"I went after it and it ran away," he said. "I had to make sure that it was far enough, then I came back and grabbed my daughter, took her in, called 911."
The Chula Vista Fire Department and paramedics responded. They transported Isabella to Rady Children's Hospital, where she got a tetanus shot and is now on a series of rabies vaccinations. While she'll be okay physically, Faith says his daughter is having second thoughts about playing outside.
"The next day she was looking from the window down to see if the animal was still there. She had thought it was a monster. She was like, it's a monster. I was like, no it's a coyote,” he said.
State Fish and Wildlife said they were unaware of the attack but plan to investigate. Faith is now teaching Isabella about the difference between coyotes and dogs, and telling her it's okay to play with dogs. He says she's happy at school and he even took her to Legoland the other day.
But he wants other parents to be aware of the dangers, and he himself knows of other recent encounters with aggressive coyotes.
“If it can attack my kid, it can attack anybody's kid,” Faith said.
Faith says he'll now be outside with Isabella, pepper spray in hand.
The website coyotesmarts.org says coyotes are naturally timid. So if you encounter one, be as big and loud as possible by shouting, waving your arms, and clapping your hands.
Do not run or turn your back.
State Fish and Wildlife also has a website with information on interactions with wild animals.