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Cyclist Recalls Coyote Encounter

Larry Hoffman remembers the scary day when three coyotes confronted him on Mulholland Drive

 It’s a cautionary tale, not one to alarm the public necessarily.

But bicyclist Larry Hoffman—who once owned a bike shop in North Hollywood, and lives in Toluca Lake—wants people to know about his encounter with coyotes on Mulholland Drive.

“I have been reading these stories on the on Patch and following them closely,” Hoffman said. “There are some people who are saying that coyotes don’t present a danger to people, and I say it’s only a matter of time that it will.”

Hoffman, 66, said it was only a few years ago when he was riding his bike on Mulholland Drive between Runyon Canyon Park and that many people take to get up and around the traffic on Ventura Boulevard from Studio City.) 

“I was riding the bike and a coyote came up along side me and growled, but he kept pace and was right along side me,” Hoffman said.

Just at the on Mulholland, not far from the , another coyote was following him from the other side.

“I was going about 5 or 6 miles and hour and about 200 yards away there’s this healthy male coyote jogging along side of me and not afraid,” Hoffman recalled. “I thought how interesting.”

It was just after dawn and the cars were sparse. Hoffman didn’t panic until he saw yet a third coyote up ahead.

“He was standing in the middle of the road at the white line,” Hoffman said. “Then a huge ball of fear came over me and I realized that they were sort of trying to surround me.”

He was convinced that if he had fallen, they would have swarmed over him. The one along side of him was about 10 feet away and started growling and baring its teeth.

“I thought, ‘Oh my god, I’m about to be attacked,’ and he headed toward the coyote in front of him that froze in position,” Hoffman said. “I veered left and missed him and went over the hill and didn’t look back.”

This incident happened at about 6:30 a.m. and he has seen more coyotes closer to his home lately in Toluca Lake on busier streets. He has also seen bobcats.

“I own property in Kern County and you have the ability there to shoot varmints on your land, and coyotes are considered such,” he said. He is not advocating shooting the coyotes in Los Angeles County, but said something should be done before a human gets attacked. “Maybe some official person can be assigned to shoot them, or tranquilize them and move them.”

Hoffman owned the Pedal Shop on Lankershim Boulevard, which is now A few famous victims of animal attacks came into his bike shop and talked to him about it. The girl who was knocked over by a cougar near the Observatory in Griffith Park, and the man who was attacked by a mountain lion on the bike path in the Angeles Crest Forest.

Hoffman said he owns a dachshund and although the coyotes in his neighborhood seem respectful of human beings, he is still afraid of how brazen the coyotes have become.

“I hate to say it, but it’s only a matter of time that some kid or human gets seriously injured,” he said. 

If you spot a coyote, take a photo of it and include it immediately in our People have used this information to pull in their dogs or cats, or close their gates.

not Carl Peterson lll December 31, 2012 at 04:17 AM
Old story, but just stumbled upon it. "coexist" with coyotes? The only part coexisting is the coyotes and our cats for dinner. Coyote population has soared. They thrive much better in cities than they ever did in the wild. I have heard the sound more than once of the kill of cats. It's a very quick full throttle scream that quickly fades as its single breath horrid cry fades, to a 1/4 second guttural gurgling. Silence. It's dinner time. Do you want the rest of the picture here? Hundreds of coyotes roam every night in our cities. Hundreds also roam grifith park and are roaming the parked cars. Their are people who will think its cute to throw food out for them. One lion also roams the park. He has been tagged, and re-released .... Yes re-released in Griffith Park. The Sierra club and co. Thinks it will be nice to connect all the mountains in California so that all wild animals may freely run wherever they want. And again yes, wild animals in urban park called Griffith Park. Have a nice picnic with your kids now, y'hear?
Andrea April 06, 2013 at 05:28 AM
We are encroaching on their territory. Not the other way around.
Doug Mortenson April 06, 2013 at 06:01 PM
So what you're saying Andrea, is sacrificing a human, like the baby in a stroller that one of your precious friends was trying drag to her death a couple years back, is perfectly acceptable. I grew up with coyotes and knew that given the opportunity, they would kill and eat me with as little regard as pelt hunters had for them. When coyotes begin hunting in packs, it's time to thin them out, period, Andrea. Coyotes are NOT pack driven, like wolves, and are perfectly content to be alone. When we would see coyotes running in packs, we knew it was time to thin them, or allow the deer, antelope and our cattle herd (calves) to become their victims. Anyone who cares for a wild animals life more than a human life, is a sociopath, plain and simple and sociopaths need to be identified, tagged and monitored, just like yotes and other beasties who consider humans as part of the food chain. Theirs. Anyone who worries about the welfare of the coyote is an uneducated moron. Yotes are highly adaptable, and like skunks, bobcats, raccoons, deer and possums, are comfortable living in the hills along Mulholland, parks, yards and storm sewers of LA, you will never be rid of them. Never. Finally, anyone who whines about human encroachment needs to do the world a favor and thin themselves from the human herd before suggesting we learn to live with the idea that packs of coyotes have a right to hunt and eat humans.
Doug Mortenson April 06, 2013 at 06:08 PM
Coyotes need to learn to co-exist with us, which is what they are more than capable of doing. When coyotes start running in packs, they're capable of killing children, you ninny! If we put the greatest minds in the world to work exterminating the coyote, it could not be done, so spare me your soft hearted, sociopathic BS. Coyotes are animals, who, like you, Barbara, have no regard for human life.
Doug Mortenson April 06, 2013 at 06:20 PM
Well said, jiggy, the stupidity of considering Griffith Park a smart place for mountain lions is mind boggling, but LA is s morass of intelligence-barren morons, so not surprising. Wild animals are fully capable of learning to adapt to humans. Mountain lions and coyotes learn quickly that if seeing a human portends death, to move. They also learn, that if humans are not to be feared, then they must be food. It's really that simple. Yet, so many Angelinos haven't the brains, like Barbara above and Andrea below, to understand this kindergarten level truth.

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