Latest Georgia Coyote Attack Happens In Metro Atlanta

Roswell man pins down a coyote for 10 minutes before a neighbor shows up to help.

Brad Gill | March 3, 2017

The latest coyote attack to take place in Georgia happened earlier this week as a Roswell jogger was out for his morning run.

“It was 6:20 in the morning, it was still pretty dark out,” said Bill Goff, a resident in the area of Plantation Way and Lake Charles Drive in the north Atlanta suburbs.

The coyote attacked Bill while he was running, and it latched onto his right leg with its teeth.

“The fact that it was latching on, I pretty much knew right away that it was mostly likely rabid,” said Bill. “I held him down for 10 minutes until a neighbor drove by on the way to work. I didn’t want to risk him getting free and biting me again. Once the neighbor called 911, Roswell PD was there very quickly.”

Bill Goff was attacked by a rabid coyote near his Roswell home on Feb. 27, 2017.

Roswell Police Department Officer William Oates was the first officer on the scene.

“Upon my arrival, I observed Goff holding the coyote down by its neck,” Oates wrote in his incident report.

Lt. Kevin Smith with the Roswell Police Department arrived on the scene with a dog catch pole and gained control of the coyote.

“Goff had bite marks on his right calf area of his leg. DNR and Fulton County Animal Control were contacted, and both advised to put the coyote down. I used my issued shotgun and fired one round into the coyote to destroy it,” said Oates.

The coyote was turned over to local animal-control authorities, and from there it was sent off for testing.

“That testing confirmed that the coyote carried the rabies virus,” said Tim Poorman, field service director for Fulton County Animal Services.

Goff is currently in the middle of receiving rabies vaccinations.

“I’ve had two of the four (shots),” said Goff. “A week from Monday (March 13) will be the last.”

Bill said he’s seen coyotes in the area before, although they acted more like normal coyotes.

“The others I’ve seen have followed the typical behavior, they would turn and run,” said Bill.

Coyote attacks on humans and pets are pretty rare, but they do occur as coyotes appear to be a growing problem, especially in residential areas.

Several Georgia coyotes attacks have occurred in recent years:

• June 2014: A Jones County Deputy Sheriff was attacked by a coyote while riding his 4-wheeler.
• April 2014: A small dog was snatched up and carried off by a Morgan County coyote.
• November 2013: A jogger and her dog were attacked in Sugar Hill.
• July 2012: An Oconee County coyote killed a pet Chihuahua.

WSB-TV has a great video interview with Goff on their website.

Coyotes are not native to Georgia, and the invasive species has done significant damage to wildlife populations. In 2014, GON started the Coyote Cull in an effort to do something to encourage hunters to kill coyotes. Look for the 7th annual Coyote Cull effort to start up again later this spring. The state of Georgia is also beginning the Coyote Challenge, another effort to encourage the taking of coyotes.

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