ARNOLD (KDKA) — A man working on his car in Arnold, Westmoreland County, was attacked by what could have been a rabid raccoon.
He wound up killing the animal after it charged at him a second time.
“Oh, yeah it still hurts,” said Dan Waldenville. “I still have a headache.”
Waldenville has bite marks on his forehead.
It was Monday afternoon when he was under his Jeep doing some work on it, at Third Avenue and Drey Street.
That’s when a passing driver noticed the raccoon approaching.
“She kept blowing the horn, and I turned my head to see what she was blowing the horn at,” said Waldenville. “When I turned my head, the raccoon just grabbed me, just snarled and grabbed my face and bit me right here.”
He didn’t have a chance to protect himself before the bite.
“I grabbed the raccoon, and I threw up against the back tire,” said Waldenville. “I rolled out from under the car, and the lady, she was already out of her car calling 911.”
“She said, ‘You’re bleeding,’ and I said, ‘Oh that’s great. That’s all I needed to be bit by a rabid raccoon,'” he said.
He looked to see where the animal went and saw it starting to climb a fence to the neighbor’s yard. But he says it seemed very weak.
A police officer arrived and was about to get a .22 to kill it, said Waldenville. But instead, Waldenville grabbed a hammer.
“The thing got up. Kind of stood up and started charging me again,” said Waldenville. “I hit him right here with the hammer.”
He killed it before it could get to the next yard where the neighbor’s granddaughters often play.
“He told me it was scaling the fence or something, so it could have gotten one of them,” said neighbor Bob Joris. “So he’s pretty much a hero here now.”
While the animal is being tested for rabies, he says he saw a telltale sign: foam coming from the mouth.
He’s getting rabies shots, which are no longer given in your stomach. Just the same, he says they still hurt. He’s gotten eight and will need three more.
He also says a worker at a nearby business saw a red fox during the day in the parking lot, which is unusual behavior for a fox.
Finally, Waldenville says the next time he works on his car, he’s going to have someone be his lookout.