OTTAWA -- Residents in Riverside South are worried about a coyote that has been attacking walkers, runners, and cyclists throughout the neighbourhood.

Gloucester-South Nepean Councillor Carol Anne Meehan says the issue started last week when a girl was attacked on Spratt Road near a Circle K store. Then a newspaper carrier was attacked twice in the following two days.

Scott Carson was riding his bicycle near the intersection of Earl Armstrong Road and River Road around midnight on May 26. He says he was chased all the way to his home by the coyote. Carson says he had to use his bike as protection before getting home and grabbing a pitchfork to battle it off.

He says he eventually went inside and the animal went away.

“Most of the time I see them and they run off, but this was just one that was just strange.”

Meehan says her office has contacted Ottawa Police, by-law, the National Capital Commission, and Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources to solve the problem, but “everybody keeps passing the buck”.

In a statement on Thursday, Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources said: “Ministry staff have been in contact with a City of Ottawa employee on this particular issue to offer our support, and discussions are ongoing. The Ministry understands from this exchange that the City is working on a course of action.”

Also on Thursday, a statement from the city said anyone attacked by a coyote should call Ottawa Police.

“The City’s role with respect to Large Wild Mammal Emergency Response does not include addressing issues such as coyote attacks. Matters of attacks on humans would be an immediate safety issue which would be handled by Ottawa Police,” the statement said.

The National Capital Commission also offered a statement to CTV News Ottawa.

“We are saddened to learn of reports about coyotes injuring people in the Riverside South area. Until a recent media report, the NCC was not aware of injuries suffered by people during contact with coyotes. This kind of behaviour is extremely unusual for this species.”

The NCC goes on to say that according to their biologists, conservation officers, and contact centre staff, coyote sightings and behaviour are consistent with previous years.