A woman and her daughter said a coyote chased them and their dogs for a quarter mile on a Crystal Cove State Park trail early Tuesday evening.
“It was crazy,” said Lisa Goon, a former Corona del Mar resident who now lives in the Port Streets. “It would not leave us alone. It was surreal.”
The incident occurred about 6 p.m., when Lisa and her daughter, Maddy, 18, decided to go for a run with their two dogs. They started running at the beginning of a trail near Pelican Point Drive, each with a dog on a 5-foot-long leash.
“Maddy is a faster runner, so she ran down the ramp and was going to wait by the bathrooms,” Lisa said. “All of a sudden I heard panicked screaming, and I saw someone’s arms flailing above the brush.”
Lisa said she ran with her dog, Bode, toward her daughter. Meanwhile, she said, Maddy said she was running with her 22-pound dog, Chloe, when the dog suddenly stopped, then pulled away from Maddy’s grasp.
According to Lisa, a coyote that looked like a big German shepherd was in the path and appeared to be about to pounce on the dog. Maddy lunged to grab the leash, scraping her knees, coming within a foot or two of the coyote. Then she and the dog turned and ran.
Lisa said she ran toward them and maneuvered herself and her larger dog between the coyote and her daughter, but the coyote continued toward them.
“I raised my arms and roared,” she said. “It stopped, but it didn’t scare it away.”
She told her daughter to pick up the smaller dog and run.
“The coyote was interested in getting to that dog,” she said. “I stood there and roared at the coyote.”
Then she began backing slowly away, up the trail for about a quarter mile, with the coyote following her a few feet away.
“I wasn’t turning my back on it,” she said. When she reached East Coast Highway, she said, the coyote finally turned and left them alone.
“I have run that trail a million times,” Lisa said. “I’ve seen bobcats but never anything like this.”
It was close to dusk but still light outside, Lisa said.
Coyotes tend to show themselves at that time of day, said Valerie Schomburg, a Newport Beach Police Department Animal Control officer.
Online police logs show a report of a “vicious animal loose” at East Coats Highway and Los Trancos about 6:39 p.m. Lisa and Maddy drove home but did not immediately report the coyote to police, and details were not available about the later animal sighting.
Lisa said her daughter showed incredible bravery.
“Her fight really kicked in, not her flight,” she said. “It was seriously scary, and she is seriously brave.”
A Crystal Cove State Park superintendent did not immediately return a call seeking comment for this story.
Photo courtesy of Lisa Goon, showing Maddy with Chloe when the dog was a puppy