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Mother of 2-year-old girl attacked by a coyote near pier files claim against city

By Leticia Juarez

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    HUNTINGTON BEACH, California (KABC) — A family outing at the Huntington Beach Pier turned to terror for Breanne Thacker and her two small children in April.

The three were at the beach with Thacker’s 2-year-old daughter playing on the sand when she was attacked by a coyote.

“Essentially the coyote ran up and it tore the girl’s face, leaving deep lacerations and now scars on her face,” said Sam Soleimany, Thacker’s attorney.

Thacker has filed a claim against the city of Huntington Beach and other entities. The claim alleges the city failed to respond to the public safety threat posed by the increasing coyote population despite numerous sightings and incidents involving the animal prior to the attack.

“What the city could have done differently in this case was follow the portions of their plan that called for hazing teams to be created to address the risk of encroaching coyotes,” said Soleimany. “It does not appear they actually did that and based on the new plan it appears they’ve jettisoned it as an option.”

Under Huntington Beach’s 2022 Coyote Management Plan, the city does include advice for residents on hazing tactics to protect themselves and their animals.

In response to Eyewitness News’ request for a comment, the city of Huntington Beach said in a statement, “The City of Huntington Beach is unable to comment on legal matters but can confirm receipt of the claim filed relating to the April 28, 2022 incident.”

Thacker’s attorney said the toddler is healing but has been left with both physical and emotional scars from the attack.

“She panics on sight of most dogs now,” said Soleimany.

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