Sensing something was wrong, Doreen Latargia Entrup of Mahwah tried calling a neighbor to tell her she needed to come in off the street. That’s when a coyote attacked her, she said.
The coyote was several hundred yards behind her, Entrup said, when she spotted four small deer standing like statues and “a big mama deer running across” Grenadier Drive, near the Rockland County border, around 6:15 p.m. Friday.
“I just stopped,” she said. “I knew something wasn’t right.
“I picked up my phone to tell my neighbor that I was coming to her house," Entrup told Daily Voice. "As I turned to look behind me, it was on my butt and starting to bite me.
“The thing was up on its hind legs, biting me.”
Wearing flip-flops, Entrup ran into her neighbor’s garage with the coyote on her tail.
“I picked up a bat and hit it,” she said. “Then my neighbor opened her door from the kitchen to the garage and I ran in.”
Entrup, 53, recounted the incident Saturday while recovering at Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern.
She was on antibiotics and undergoing a series of rabies shots – including 13 scheduled for Monday.
Her three children – 20-year-old twin daughters and a 22-year-old son – were with her. An investigator from the New Jersey Fish, Game and Wildlife Division also visited.
Mahwah police and members of Tyco Animal Control checked the area but were unable to locate the animal, Police Capt. Stuart Blank said.
“The New Jersey Conservation Office was notified and advised they would be following up with snares in an attempt to capture the animal,” he said.
Blank urged anyone who encounters a coyote to “be as big and loud as possible. Do not run or turn your back.”
He also advised residents and business owners to “make sure garbage cans are secured and no food is left out to attract the coyotes.”
Don’t leave small pets outside, either, he said.
Entrup considers herself lucky.
“I was picturing how sharks take chunks of flesh out of a person’s body,” she told Daily Voice. “I’m feeling really grateful, if that makes any sense.”
NOTE: Anyone who sees a coyote in a residential neighborhood is urged to dial 911.
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT COYOTES: Will a Coyote Kill My Dog or Cat?
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.