Mesa woman chased by coyote; bystander helped scare coyote away

A woman in a motorized chair says a bystander helped her when a coyote was chasing her in Mesa. (Source: azfamily)
Published: Apr. 19, 2023 at 8:05 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - A woman says she was chased by a coyote in Mesa on Wednesday while riding her scooter home to a senior living facility. She is convinced the coyote would have attacked her if a bystander had not stepped in. It happened near 63rd Street and Broadway.

Candice Morrison says she was just strolling on her scooter when a man stopped his car next to her, telling her a coyote was chasing her, about 8 feet behind. There have already been several run-ins with coyotes all over the Valley this year. The Arizona Game and Fish Department is warning people to stay vigilant. “I said, ‘What!’ And looked back and was like, ‘Oh my God.’ Couldn’t go fast enough,” Morrison said. “I rolled into my facility and the concierge said, ‘Are you OK?’ And I started crying. I said there’s a coyote out there. I was afraid he was going to make me lunch,” Morrison said.

She was on her everyday trip around the neighborhood near the senior center she lives at. Within seconds a person driving stops right next to her, yelling at her that a coyote is chasing her. “This thing (scooter) goes six miles an hour. I’m like, ‘Come on’. I was scared, like sweating,” Candice said.

Candice says the person followed her home until she was safe. “He’s a guardian angel because I was afraid,” she said. “I think the car scared him (the coyote). It came right up to our property.”

Within the last month, there have been multiple run-ins with coyotes across the Valley. In separate cases, two toddlers were attacked in north Scottsdale. Luckily they weren’t seriously hurt.

The attacks prompted Arizona Game and Fish Department to patrol around the clock, even setting up a hotline for people to call in when they saw a coyote.

Arizona Game and Fish say the root cause of human and wildlife conflict is giving these animals easy access to food and water. They say once animals like coyotes associate people with food, they lose their fear.

So if you encounter a coyote, keep eye contact, do not turn and run away, yell in low and loud tones, and use repellent like pepper spray if needed. Candice says she is thankful she is safe but worries this could happen again. “I’m afraid and I’d go at night sometimes to Goodwill to browse and I don’t think I’ll go out there or I need to get some mace I think,” she said.

If you encounter a coyote or other wildlife that is acting aggressively toward people, call the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s 24-hour Communications Center at 623-236-7201. AZGFD does not provide removal or capture services for nuisance wildlife but does offer self-help advice. If necessary, homeowners can contact a qualified wildlife control business to attempt to capture and remove nuisance wildlife for a fee. AZGFD will respond if there is an immediate public safety threat to people. Predators such as coyotes that have attacked people or are exhibiting predatory or aggressive behaviors toward people will be lethally removed. Lethal removal is the last resort since the animals can’t be relocated for public safety reasons. Keep in mind that even if coyotes are removed from an area, others will probably subsequently move in if attractants remain.