A coyote allegedly bit a child and tried to haul it off while the family was shooting off fireworks Tuesday night.

For weeks, there have been reports and sightings of at least two different coyotes, primarily seen in the northwest side of Hastings.

The situation became all too real for one family, according to a woman’s Facebook post who stated that a 1-year-old was bitten by a coyote.

“the coyote bite and tried to take off with my 1 year old nephew on his back left puncture wounds,” wrote Salina Josephine on Facebook.

Sgt. Brian Hessler with the Hastings Police Department confirmed Wednesday morning that there was a report filed of a coyote allegedly biting a child in the 500 block of South Boston Avenue about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday.

According to the report, the family was lighting fireworks and the coyote came walking up the sidewalk from the south. The coyote allegedly bit the child then ran off to the east between some houses.

“The witnesses, the child’s family, said they are positive it was a small coyote,” Hessler said. “They have hunted them in the past and know what they look like. It was mangy looking, hair was falling out.”

Officers checked the area and found nothing, Hessler said. He assumes the animal must have run off.

Hessler said people just need to leave the animals alone. They are likely hunting for food for pups at this point. He also reminded people that discharging firearms for any reason is prohibited within city limits.

“If you have a problem with seeing them around, contact the police department or we can contact game and parks,” he said. “There are systems in place for dealing with things like this.”

According to Salina Josephine’s Facebook post, the victim, whom she identified as her nephew, had been taken to the emergency room. The child receive a tetanus shot and was starting a round of rabies shots as a precaution.

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