By Mike Williscraft
Art Dekkert had heard about coyote sightings and related issues in Grimsby over the last several years, but never really thought much about them.
That changed last Wednesday evening as he motored west on Livingston Avenue past Central Public School.
“It was driving back home with a friend when I saw a coyote jump a man on the sidewalk right in front of the school,” said Dekkert.
“it was shocking to see,” said Dekkert.
Dekkert stopped his truck and pulled over, noting as he did, the coyote attempted to jump on the man’s back a second time.
“He didn’t really turn. He just kind of swatted his arm behind him to knock the coyote away. He came right back though and he swatted him a second time.”
“I rushed over to see if the man was ok. It was clear he was a special needs person. I’m not even sure he realized what happened. He continued his walk down towards McDonald’s,” said Dekkert.
As Dekkert approached, he said the coyote bolted to hide in bushes in front of the school.
After speaking to the man, Dekkert was returning to his truck when he spotted a mom with a stroller about to pass by the same location. He warned the mom to get home and away from the area to avoid any danger.
“I just told her to get home. I was not sure if the coyote was still there or what,” said Dekkert.
This incident occurred at 5:45 p.m. on Wednesday.
The following day, Dekkert contacted Grimsby bylaw who passed him over to Lincoln Humane Society.
LHS simply told him it is not their jurisdiction unless the animal is hurt or injured.
Dekkert also alerted the District School Board of Niagara to ensure some notice went out to teachers.
“Aside from the incident itself, the time of day was shocking. It wasn’t night time or anything,” said Dekkert, who noted he is a retired teacher and, as a result, very defensive for the children in the school yard.
“This attack was on a grown man. It could have been a very different story if it had been a couple of kids just walking down the sidewalk.”