Raccoon that attacked 6-year-old New Jersey boy was rabid

ELMWOOD PARK, N.J. (AP) — Authorities on Friday confirmed a case of rabies in a raccoon that attacked a 6-year-old boy while he was walking to school, scratching and biting him in the face until a bystander beat the animal to death.

Aryan Gavali was attacked Wednesday in Elmwood Park. 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 Gavali, said his son is on the mend.

“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,” his father told The Record newspaper (http://bit.ly/1PJeGAd). “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. Walls, who lives in an apartment near where the boy was attacked, visited Aryan on Thursday and said he’s still shaken up by the attack.

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

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Information from: The Record (Woodland Park, N.J.), http://www.northjersey.com