Woman covered with bites, scratches in bizarre mauling by raccoons



LAKEWOOD, Wash. - A jogger suffered numerous scratches and wounds after she was attacked by a family of raccoons in Lakewood that may have been startled by her dog.


An animal control officer was called to a home near Fort Steilacoom Park at 1:30 p.m. Monday where medics were treating the woman for about 28 marks on her body that were a combination of scratches and about six bite wounds.


The woman, Michaela Lee, said she had been jogging near the edge of the park with her dog when it got away from her and may have gone after a family of raccoons.


Suddenly and without warning, the raccoons came after her, Lee told KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reporter Kevin McCarty.


"Three other raccoons charged me. They came out of the grass and they were just biting and scratching my legs," Lee said.


As she tried to escape, the raccoons kept coming -- knocking her down in the front yard of her home near 98th and Farwest.


"They stayed with me, and they were clawing the back of my legs, and they tripped me and I fell down. And they were just on me," Lee said.


 Lee says her dog, Matty, quickly came to her rescue.


 "Just teeth bared, growling and came at the raccoons and gave me time. I picked one of the raccoons up and instinctively flung it and she gave me time to get up and defend myself."


Lee was transported to the hospital for her injuries.


An animal control officer said he believed the attack stemmed from the mother raccoon trying to protect its young.


The dog was not hurt.


Lee says despite the attack, she won't stop running in the park. But she'll be prepared next time.


"Well, we got some bear mace," she said, with a laugh.