Raccoon That Attacked 6-Year-Old NJ Boy Was Rabid

ELMWOOD PARK, N.J. (AP) -

Authorities on Friday confirmed that the raccoon that attacked a 6-year-old boy while he was walking to school was rabid. It was scratching and biting him in the face until a bystander beat the animal to death.

Aryan Gavali was attacked Wednesday. The raccoon ran across the street, jumped on his back and crawled onto his face. Aryan received a deep laceration under his right eye and was treated for possible rabies infection.

Mike Pagan, a spokesman for Bergen County, said tests showed the animal did, in fact, have rabies. The boy’s father, Pratap, said his son is healing.

“He’s eating well and he’s sleeping well, but it’s going to take a little bit of time to heal his stitches on his face,” Gavali said. “It’s still swollen and there’s a little bit of pain there.”

Danny Walls, 31, was driving home when he saw Aryan’s mother screaming for help. He used a 10-foot fiberglass and aluminum pole to beat the raccoon to death as it gnawed on the boy’s face. He visited Aryan on Thursday and said he’s still shaken up.

“I’ve never seen anything like it. [It’s] the most vicious thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” Walls said.