Jul 26, 2014
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Cyclist Recalls Coyote Encounter

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

Cyclist Recalls Coyote Encounter

 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.

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