By: Saraana Jamraj
What started as a calm day in the park ended with a coyote chase and shots fired.
Timothy Marcus, 33, of Coral Springs, was at Three Mountains Park on Tuesday evening, when he noticed two men: Coral Springs residents Isiah Presendieu, 20, and Michael Principato, 18, preparing to jog up the park hills.
For a park that attracts joggers, this would be a regular occurrence—except, shortly after spotting them, Marcus noticed a coyote crouching down, staring at both Presendieu and Principato.
Before he could warn them, they began sprinting uphill, and the coyote started chasing them.
Marcus told police that’s when he ran towards them, yelling, “Watch out, there’s a coyote,” at which point both men observed the coyote in full pursuit of them.
They continued to run from the coyote and began making their way back downhill. Then, they split up, running in different directions.
The coyote followed Principato, who took off his shoe and began swiping at the coyote, which, according to the police report, caused the coyote to shift focus to Presendieu instead, who was still making his descent downhill.
During the chase, Presendieu tripped and fell onto the ground, and the coyote approached him aggressively. Marcus, who had been observing, said he feared for Presendieu’s safety and thought that if he didn’t act, the coyote would have attacked him.
Marcus, who has a concealed weapons permit, drew his gun, a black 9 mm Glock, from his waistband and shot in the direction of the coyote, which made the coyote immediately jump back and run towards the bushes, where the coyotes are believed to be living.
While the coyote ran away, Presendieu still sustained an injury to his right leg from the chase and fall and was transported to Broward Health Coral Springs.
Andy Blecker, Parks and Recreation technician, said he would be conducting a follow-up report due to the incident in the city park and would contact his supervisor to make them aware of the aggressive coyotes located in the area.
According to The Humane Society, if you see a coyote in your area during the day time, it is usually no cause for alarm—most coyotes try to avoid humans unless humans have fed them in the past.
Usually, respecting their space works. If not, a tactic called hazing usually works to reinstill fear—which works by raising your arms and yelling.
Saraana Selene Jamraj is a writer, activist, and a student pursuing her Master’s Degree in Mass Communications at Florida International University.
She has lived in Coral Springs since 2004.