Raccoon Accused of ‘Attacking Passersby’ on Columbus Avenue; But Was It Framed?


A screenshot of a video taken on the Citizen app.

Are local raccoons getting more brazen these days? Or are people just more attuned to their presence since an outbreak of canine distemper among Central Park raccoons?

Someone called 911 on a raccoon in a tree on Columbus Avenue near 71st Street on Sunday morning. The 911 called said the raccoon was “attacking passersby,” according to the Citizen app, which tracks emergency calls.

Police arrived around 9:30 a.m. and dozens of people gathered around to watch the drama, according to a shaky video posted on the app. One app user noted that “the suspect has lowered itself from the tree,” referring to the raccoon, who may not have known it was a “suspect” in anything. We’ve inquired with police but have no immediate information on what came of the raccoon.

Another onlooker, however, disputed the notion that the raccoon was acting aggressively. Kate Koza wrote to us that the raccoon “wasn’t attacking anyone. The woman who called was exaggerating beyond belief (I overheard the call and was there watching the raccoon for a good hour and a half). It was not exhibiting the behavior of distemper at all.” She posted the video below.

We also received the video below from Joeanna Saylor of a raccoon — likely the same one later called a “suspect” — at about the same location early Sunday morning.

This comes after another raccoon was pulled from an awning on 86th Street earlier this month. Last year, a raccoon even made it into a child’s 8th floor bedroom.

NEWS | 10 comments | permalink
    1. Bob Lamm says:

      “The suspect has lowered itself from the tree.” Brilliant! I hope they read the suspect its Miranda rights.

    2. Bonnie says:

      The raccoon in the bottom video has a head tilt. Subtle but possibly indicative of neurological disorder. (Viral, parasitic, traumatic…)

    3. Ish Kabibble says:

      I was framed! This stinks, I tells ya. Stinks!

      – R. Raccoon

    4. Dreamcream1 says:

      My friends and I know the raccoon personally and he’d never do something like that. Definitely framed. Right guys?

    5. Yael says:

      I’ve never felt more sorry for a raccoon. Guilty of being a raccoon on human turf. Poor guy/gal.

    6. Alex K says:

      1) I saw a Raccoon on Broadway and 72nd Street (right outside Gray’s Papaya) at 8:30 AM on Sunday 9/23 – was it the same one? (There were at least 3 cops and a dozen people looking at it).The little guy seemed more curious than anything.

      2) What happens to the Raccoons caught in NYC? As a dog parent, but also someone with respect for all life, regardless of how we humans react when we see a wild animal, I hope that animal control traps and releases back into the wild, away from humans.

    7. I’ve been owned by raccoon’s since 1982 and I have never read such trash that I’ve read here about the two raccoon’s in this article &
      video. This catch them and carry them back
      in the Country and let them be free.

      • BillyNYC says:

        You’re so right it’s ridiculous with these idiots in this city are doing and the way they think 🤔