Neighbors Concerned after Man is Bitten by Fox in Peckville

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PECKVILLE, Pa. -- People in part of Lackawanna County are on the lookout for a fox after a man was bitten by what he believes was a rabid fox on Thursday.

It's calm and quiet now on Lillibridge Street in Peckville, but the day before it wasn't so pleasant.

That's when John Scopelliti noticed a fox lurking around his back patio.

"First time we saw him my wife called me. I was downstairs, and I come out and he was after the cat food out here. So, I come out and just kept banging on the door and scared him and he took off," Scopelliti said.

After leaving his patio, Scopelliti says the fox traveled along the backyards before crossing through a fence and biting a man in the backyard of this home a few doors down.

The man who was bitten did not want to go on camera but says the fox clamped onto his leg while he was cleaning his pool. The fox brought him to the ground where he swatted it in its face and then it ran off.

After the fox bit a man a few homes away, the homeowner tells Newswatch 16 the fox stared down her husband until he chased it away with a rake.

Then the fox returned to Scopelliti's back patio where his wife says it was after a cat that frequents his backyard.

"Sure enough, he was just walking around. I opened the door and he didn't run or nothing. He just stood there. So I got my pistol out and I shot at him. Never got him though. He just jumped off the swing, ran out the back, and then the cops come up and they were looking for him."

The Game Commission says you are not supposed to shoot at an animal, unless you have a hunting license. Officials say if you see what you believe to be a rabid animal, leave it alone and call 911 or the Game Commission immediately.

Scopelliti says he's lived along the woods here for 30 years and this is his first run-in with what could be a rabid animal.

"A lot of people out here are concerned about it because they're out in the yards every day and for this thing to run up to the guy's yard and bite him, that's unusual."

There is no word from the Game Commission on what's being done to trap or kill the fox in Peckville.


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