Off-Duty Cop Who Throttled Attacking Coyote Is Carnegie Hero

PITTSBURGH (AP) -

An off-duty police officer who rescued a 5-year-old girl from a rabid coyote at a New York playground is one of 19 people being honored with Carnegie Medals for heroism.

The Pittsburgh-based Carnegie Hero Fund Commission announced the award winners on Monday.

Arcangelo Liberatore was at the playground in Thornwood, New York, in April 2018 when he heard screams and saw the animal attacking Natalia Petrellese.

Liberatore was able to get the animal to release its grip on Natalia and pinned it to the ground. He restrained it until police officers arrived and fatally shot the animal. He and the girl were treated for rabies and recovered.

The Hero Fund commission was founded and endowed by steel magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. It has awarded over $40 million to more than 10,000 heroes or their families since 1904.