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US Park Police Victorious in Battle With Raccoon

Photograph via iStock.

A US Park Police officer had to be transported to a DC hospital early Thursday afternoon after he was attacked by a raccoon and accidentally shot himself in the foot while trying to fend off the animal, according to a police statement.

The encounter happened about noon on Horse Stable Road, Northwest, a paved route in the upper part of Rock Creek Park near St. John’s College High School. The officer was transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

According to the Park Police statement, the raccoon was “dispatched” by another officer at the scene. Animal-control officials were then contacted to retrieve the carcass.

No explanation was given for what prompted the raccoon to attack the wounded officer. The species, common in Rock Creek Park and other wooded areas, is typically a nocturnal hunter, though according to the Humane Society of the United States, daytime activity is not necessarily a cause for alarm.

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Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.