Scottsdale toddler recovering after being attacked by coyote at neighborhood park

A coyote attacked 21-month-old Zeke Miaso over the weekend at Aztec Park in north Scottsdale.
Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 5:47 PM MST|Updated: Mar. 20, 2023 at 5:57 PM MST
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SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- There have been countless coyote sightings across the Valley, but it’s not often that a desert dog attacks someone. Curt Miaso’s young son was one of the unlucky ones.

A coyote attacked 21-month-old Zeke Miaso over the weekend at Aztec Park in north Scottsdale. “I turned and looked, and about 20 feet to my right under the monkey bars, a coyote was face to face with Zeke,” said Miaso. “As you can imagine, it happened pretty quick. A frightening few seconds.”

The Scottsdale dad said he was watching his three young children on the playground when the coyote walked up to Zeke out of nowhere. A split second later, the coyote took a swipe at Zeke as his dad ran over to scare the coyote off. “I remember checking Zeke, first his hands, but didn’t see anything,” said Miaso. “Then I looked under the onesie he was wearing, and we saw he had some claw marks on his stomach.”

Dad picked up his son and raced him to Phoenix Children’s Hospital, where he was treated for his injuries. According to Miaso, it was nothing serious, but as a precaution, the toddler is being treated for rabies.

Darren Julian is with Arizona Game and Fish. He said there have been 23 coyote attacks on people in the Phoenix metro area since 2017. In most cases, it results from other people leaving food out for the wild animals when they’re not supposed to. “It’s that learned behavior when they approach people,” said Julian. “Now, when they approach people and are not getting a food source, they snap at people, saying, hey, where’s my food? I’m here; where’s my reward? Where’s my food?”

Arizona Game and Fish officials want people to know that coyotes and other wildlife are part of our community in parks and neighborhoods. So, it’s important to take precautions when out and about and be aware of your surroundings.

Miaso knows his son could have been hurt much worse. “Any time you come in contact with a wild animal, who knows what can happen,” he said. “He’s a tough little guy. He’s doing OK.”