Lockport man says coyote almost attacked poodle

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A Lockport man said he almost lost his small poodle to a coyote that was on the prowl in his neighborhood recently.

Rex Knaperek, 53, said he was walking his 8-pound poodle named Lucy about 5 a.m. Tuesday on Morel Street. Knaperek said he was walking back to his home after taking Lucy outside when she tugged on the leash. He said he turned around and saw a coyote running at Lucy.

Knaperek said he then pulled on the leash, causing Lucy to come up into his arms, and the coyote ran about 15 feet away. He said the coyote kept looking at them.

“I was yelling at him, and he wouldn’t run away,” Knaperek said.

Eventually, the coyote took off.

"I've been a policeman almost
30 years. If I would've had my gun on me, I would've shot him," he said.

Knaperek said he wants people in Lockport to be aware there are coyotes in the area. He said in the past three years, he’s seen about 24 of the animals.

“They’re all over the place,” he said.

Lockport Police Chief Terry Lemming said the police received a report of Knaperek’s coyote attack. He said the department receives calls regularly on coyotes. Lemming said coyotes are appearing in the city because it has wooded areas.

Coyotes can be kept out of backyards with fences that are at least 6-feet tall and have a roll bar on top, according to the Cook County Coyote Project’s website. The organization studies coyotes in the Chicago area. If people are walking their pets in areas frequented by coyotes, they should keep their pets on a leash and carry a walking stick, noisemaker or mace to fend off coyotes, according to the project’s website.