Breanna Thacker, the mother of a two-year-old girl who was mauled by a coyote near the Hunting Beach Pier in April is now suing the city.
According to KTLA, the claim states that Huntington Beach failed to act, although the city did develop a plan to address the increasing urban coyote encounters. The inaction of the city, the lawsuit alleges, is what led to a situation where Thacker’s daughter could be attacked.
“They took a brief walk down to the water when suddenly, out of nowhere, a coyote came and attacked Breanne’s 2-year-old toddler girl,” Thacker attorney Sam Soleimany stated. “Essentially what happened is the coyote ran up and tore at her face, leaving deep lacerations and now scars on her face.”
Soleimany argues that the city should have followed through with its plan to create coyote hazing teams—people who would make noise, throw objects and otherwise frighten the animals away from human areas—to address the risk of encroaching coyotes.
“It does not appear that they did that,” he said.
Many communities, including Manhattan Beach, are turning to Torrance City Councilman Aurelio Mattucci for answers, reports the Los Angeles Times.
Mattucci, with a philosophy not too dissimilar from Christopher Columbus, has stated, “Coyotes may have been here first, but we’re here now.” Torrance, among several other cities across California, has passed a measure allowing year-round trapping. Under a contract program, the measure permits killing about one coyote per week utilizing lethal injection. Apparently a fan of a certain notable roadrunner, Mattucci reportedly broke into a smile before adding, “Experts agree that a dead coyote is 100% less likely to reproduce.”
Though the suit does little to undo the serious attack her daughter experienced, Thacker and her lawyer hope the claim will ensure attacks like this one don’t happen again.
“What we hope to achieve in bringing our claim against the city is, at the very least, to find out what the city is going to do about this problem. What will it take? How many more kids have to be injured before the city comes up with an affirmative plan to address a citywide problem with a citywide response,” Soleimany said.