Florida Man Fights Off Coyote With Unusual Weapon: ‘I Smashed Him’

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
February 21USshare
Florida Man Fights Off Coyote With Unusual Weapon: ‘I Smashed Him’
A coyote in a file photo. (KAREN BLEIER/AFP/GettyImages)

A Florida man said he fought off an aggressive coyote with the only weapon he had on hand—a cup.

Ben Pool was walking his dog in Fruitland Park on Feb. 16 when a coyote appeared.

“My dog and a coyote were standing face to face, fixing to go at it,” Pool told WESH. “He came at my legs, first, I smashed him in the side of the head with the cup. He came at me again, I smashed him again and then he jumped up at my face. When he did that I jumped back, smacked him in the side of the head, he screamed and he went down.”

Pool and his dog fled up the street and made it to his truck, where he prepared to shoot the animal.

“I was going to shoot it out the window because I didn’t want to get out and fight it again and when I did, it jumped up at the window of the truck,” Pool said.

“I rolled the window down, went three or four times at it, and finally I ran over it. No regret, none. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.”

Pool does not face any legal issues for killing a coyote in self-defense. He said if he didn’t fight the coyote, he would have been bitten.

Residents across the state have been seeing more coyotes as the population of the species, previously only seen in the West, has been growing in the southeast.

“Once strictly a western species, coyotes now occur throughout the eastern United States. Coyotes began expanding their range into northwestern Florida in the 1970s, and are now considered to be a naturalized species in all 67 Florida counties. They are extremely adaptable; just about any type of forest or farmland is suitable habitat. They can also adapt to and live in suburban and urban areas,” according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.

Coyotes, members of the canine family, weigh between 20 and 30 pounds, are territorial, and are usually most active at sunset and sunrise. Their diet is varied and includes fruit, insects, birds, livestock, and trash.

Residents in Delray Beach said that coyotes are running rampant and recently killed a small dog when it went outside to go to the bathroom.

NTD Photo

“I came outside and I walked to about here and Trooper went right there. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw something and then heard a yelp and I realized the coyote had gotten my dog,” Kimberly Benton told CBS 12.

In nearby Boca Raton, people said coyotes have been terrorizing them. “The coyotes for whatever reason are running rampant,” said Kim Russo, one resident.

The problem has grown so bad that the commission is scheduled to meet with residents in the area in the next few weeks.

Man Kicks Coyote

Video surveillance from a resort on Emerald Island in late January showed a man kicking a coyote after it went after him.

The coyote lunged at three people and bit two of them. It came out of the woods as a guest at the resort walked on a sidewalk, the footage showed.

The man,Tom O’Donnell, waved his hands and tried to scare the coyote off but when it kept approaching, he kicked it.

He got away, but the coyote bit O’Donnell’s wife, who was in their yard planting flowers. O’Donnell told WESH that the coyote had latched onto his wife’s leg and wouldn’t let go.

“I kicked it, I punched it, she was punching it. It wouldn’t get off. She was punching it too, so I ended up choking it and then it released her, so I threw it on the ground and I basically sat on it,” O’Donnell said.

While they waited for animal control, he and another man tied the coyote’s legs and snout and put it in a dog cage. He said he learned that his neighbor had been bitten on the same day by the same coyote.

The coyote tested positive for rabies and the two people who were bitten were treated for possible exposure.