NIWOT, Colo. (CBS4) – A man was on his way to work before sun-up Monday morning on a stretch of dark road near Niwot when three coyotes crept up from behind and attacked.
Andrew Dickehage talked with CBS4’s Jennifer Brice about the attack and what he did to save his own life.
Dickehage, 22, was walking along 75th Avenue at 5 a.m. when the attack occurred. He said he’s thankful it happened to him rather than a child or elderly person because the attack could have resulted in much more serious injuries or even death.
He had a flashlight in his hand because it was so dark. He said he heard some kind of noise in the brush behind him. He thought it was something small such as a rabbit. He then turned around and saw one of the coyotes lunging at him.
Dickehage suffered scrapes and cuts all over his arms, neck and face from being repeatedly jumped at by the coyotes. He said he wanted to make sure that they could not get to his neck and he didn’t want to be knocked over, so he stood in a wide stance and he tried to keep the coyotes in front of him. He used his flashlight and was able to hit one of the animals.
“So I took my flashlight and hit it over the side of the head to get it to let go. As soon as I got it to let go then another one went to lunge at me. All I really thought to do was swing and knock it to get it from jumping at me again,” Dickehage said. “Picture closing your eyes and having the three figures, you can barely see them, and all you could do is keep your hands up and just make sure that they weren’t going for the face.
“You feel the initial impact, and as soon as you felt it, then you could react and go to shove, but, I mean, after that … all I could try doing was make sure I was moving backwards.”
Dickehage said the attack went on for several minutes. Eventually the coyotes ended up leaving.
Wildlife officials said it is very uncharacteristic behavior of coyotes, which is why they have actually found two of the animals and put them down. They are now actively searching for the third coyote because they don’t want to see the vicious behavior play out in anyone else.
Dickehage said when he came to all of his senses and got out of the blur and realized what had happened to him, he immediately thought of his little boy and his fiancée.