A Huntersville family captured on video an apparently rabid coyote snarling and attacking their car on Saturday night.
“Oh my God!” 18-year-old Hannah Schroter says moments before the attack as she films the coyote prancing along a wood fence, two blocks from the family’s home in the Vermillion community.
“That’s a coyote for sure,” dad John Schroter replies in the video that had drawn 29,000 views by Monday afternoon. “Is he still going? Here, keep recording video. I’m going to get him.”
“What do you mean you’re going to get him?” Hannah asks.
“I don’t know,” dad replies in a calm, hushed tone. “Just going to scare him or something.”
“Do we just let it go, like we don’t call anyone?” Hannah asks.
“It’s a coyote, it’s not hurting anybody,” dad replies in the 59-second video posted on Facebook. “Which way did it go? There it is.”
Suddenly, Hannah centers the camera in on the coyote snarling at their car and then biting its bumper.
“It’s growling!” Hannah says.
“He’s bloody, too,” dad responds. “He’s attacking my car. He’s probably rabid. Yeah, we gotta call.”
John Schroter told the Observer on Monday that he quickly realized the coyote could harm people and pets and that law enforcement needed to be called. He dialed 911 while still in the car.
Officers from the Charlotte-Meckenburg Police Department’s Animal Care and Control Division captured and killed the coyote and got its remains to a state testing lab in Raleigh, Schroter said he later learned.
He said he also learned of two other attacks that night, one before his family’s 10:30 p.m. encounter and one after.
Shortly before 9 p.m., a Vermillion resident reported kicking a coyote away from his small dog, Schroter said. At about midnight, a man on N.C. 115 between Ranson Road and Mount Holly-Huntersville Road posted online about a coyote running at him at about 11 p.m. The coyote was about 2 feet away before the man got into his truck and quickly closed the door. That encounter was about a mile from the Schroters’ home.
Schroter said he and his family have seen plenty of wildlife where they live. But in this case, the coyote was acting too dangerous for him not to act.
“What will he do to someone walking a dog?” he thought.