Coyote bites grocery store employee's leg in Lafayette

Another reported coyote attack in the East Bay took place in Lafayette. 

California Department of Fish and Wildlife says attacks are rare, but that there've been eight attacks including this one so far this year.

Last year, there was only one.

The most recent incident happened behind Diablo Foods on Tuesday at 7 p.m. on busy Mt. Diablo Boulevard, only about 1.6 miles from another attack at Campolindo High School in Moraga.

An employee at Diablo Foods reported that he was attacked by a coyote.

"I was shocked, really shocked. I didn't think you would see a coyote in downtown Lafayette," says Jennie Swan, a shopper from Orinda. 

A manager with the grocery store says the worker was taking a break in an area behind the supermarket where refrigerated storage units are located.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is investigating the incident.

"Hunger is usually the reason why they attack people and pets," says Captain Patrick Foy with Fish and Wildlife. 

This attack follows two others in nearby Moraga.

In July, at Moraga Commons Park, a coyote bit a 2-year-old boy.

Earlier this month, a man was bitten in the leg while he was working out at the Campolindo High School football field.

State investigators pulled a saliva sample from the bite marks off of the man's pants.

They say DNA determined that the same coyote was responsible for both attacks.

"The first two victims describe how the animal bit into them hard enough it wouldn't let go until they hit it," says Foy. 

He says four coyotes were captured and euthanized, but none turned out to be the offending animal.

Investigators are now using saliva from the latest victim's bite wound to see if the same coyote is responsible.

"We did send those samples plus the victim's clothing to the laboratory that they collected last night," says Foy. 

One shopper at Diablo Foods shared with KTVU this video posted on the internet of a coyote seen in the parking lot of a supermarket in Moraga just last week.

He questions if the stay-at-home order plays a role.

"I don't know if it has something to do with the lack of people around. It is kind of scary and unnerving," says Mark Walker of Moraga. 

Foy offers safety tips: "Shouting aggressively, holding your hands above your head. If the animal comes too close you kick it. You throw rocks. You do whatever you have to do."

Diablo Foods employees say the worker who was attacked by the coyote is doing okay.

Despite the recent incidents, Foy says coyote attacks are rare.He advises people not to leave small pets and garbage out that can be food for coyotes.

Fish and Wildlife says it has not determined what next steps it will take to try to capture the coyote