Officials: Raccoon in Providence tests positive for rabies
State health officials said Wednesday a raccoon that attacked three people in Providence has tested positive for rabies.
The raccoon was later tracked down and killed by police.
Earlier, a 16-year-old girl and a woman reported as having been attacked by the animal. Health officials said a third person was attacked Tuesday night on Grant Street.
According to health officials, the attacks happened within a mile of one another.
Health officials said all three people were taken to the hospital and are being treated for exposure to rabies.
Anyone who may have had contact with a raccoon before Wednesday should contact the Health Department.
State veterinarian Scott Marshall said this case is high risk because the animal roamed the neighborhood and may have had contact with people and pets. He said people may not be aware that they have been exposed to rabies.
Police received the first report around 6:30 a.m. after 16-year-old Jada Littlejohn was bitten.
"The raccoon was hugging her lag, grabbing her leg, holding up on her. I said, 'Nini, run in the house!' So she ran in the house, and I shut the door because it was coming at me," said Kimberly Littlejohn, Jada's mother.
Jada's sister, Kadina, also saw the raccoon.
"I head this big scream. I said, 'What is this?' I looked through the windows, broke the blinds, and I saw a big raccoon, bigger than a teddy bear on my sister and I started screaming because she started screaming because she had blood coming from her mouth because she got bit on her lip and her hand. And I started running and said, 'Mommy, a raccoon's on Nini, a raccoon's on Nini,'" she said.
The second call came in about an hour later, at 7:25 a.m., from around five blocks away. In that attack, a woman said an animal she couldn't identify lunged at her face and bit her hand.
Olga Negron witnessed the attack.
"When I was about to open the door, the cops were already there and they told me to close the door but I didn't know for what. I didn't know it was because of the raccoon," she said.