This brave kid can kick tail!

A courageous 14-year-old Westchester boy attending a holiday-weekend barbecue did battle with a wily and possibly rabid coyote — fighting off the beast to protect a bunch of kids who had gathered for the festivities.

Eric Mandel’s heroics came to light yesterday as Rye Brook police said they killed a coyote believed responsible for that Sunday attack and for another not far away on a 2-year-old girl whose dad was bitten on the leg while protecting her.

Once authorities tracked the beast down, it leaped at a trapper and tried to attack its own pup.

WANNA PIECE? Eric Mandel yesterday shows how he slapped a coyote like this one after it crashed a Westchester block party.

DENNIS CLARK

WANNA PIECE? Eric Mandel yesterday shows how he slapped a coyote like this one after it crashed a Westchester block party.

“It lunged at me,” Jim Horton told The Journal News. “I hit, it flipped over, then it lunged at me again. Then I just chased it through the woods for 45 minutes.”

Police eventually shot the animal. Yesterday, they were trying to determine whether it had rabies.

Rye Brook Mayor Joan Feinstein said five coyotes had been killed or trapped in town since mid-August.

Eric was playing catch with his 16-year-old brother, Jason, at 6:30 p.m. Sunday when he spotted the canine.

“I see this mangy, sick-looking dog, and I stepped back a little,” he recalled yesterday.

Playing nearby was a group of about four kids, some as young as 4.

“It lunged at me twice, and I slapped its face away” each time, Eric said. He smacked the coyote a third time “so it would go away.”

“I heard a squeal when I slapped it the third time,” he said.

He and his brother started yelling to scare away the coyote “and I walked into the street and continued making a loud noise so it wouldn’t turn around and attack the 4- and 5-year-olds.

“After it happened, I ran up the street to warn people that had small children and pets,” Eric recalled.

About an hour later, a 28-year-old man and his 2-year-old daughter were playing in the front yard of a Rye Brook home, not far from the first attack, when the coyote came from behind.

“It lunged for my granddaughter and got her in the upper arm and drew blood,” said Gary Zuckerman, 65. “My son grabbed my granddaughter and turned around, and it bit him in the top of his leg.”
“It lunged at me,” Jim Horton told The Journal News. “I hit, it flipped over, then it lunged at me again. Then I just chased it through the woods for 45 minutes.”

Police eventually shot the animal. Yesterday, they were trying to determine whether it had rabies.

Rye Brook Mayor Joan Feinstein said five coyotes had been killed or trapped in town since mid-August.

Eric was playing catch with his 16-year-old brother, Jason, at 6:30 p.m. Sunday when he spotted the canine.

“I see this mangy, sick-looking dog, and I stepped back a little,” he recalled yesterday.

Playing nearby was a group of about four kids, some as young as 4.

“It lunged at me twice, and I slapped its face away” each time, Eric said. He smacked the coyote a third time “so it would go away.”

“I heard a squeal when I slapped it the third time,” he said.

He and his brother started yelling to scare away the coyote “and I walked into the street and continued making a loud noise so it wouldn’t turn around and attack the 4- and 5-year-olds.

“After it happened, I ran up the street to warn people that had small children and pets,” Eric recalled.

About an hour later, a 28-year-old man and his 2-year-old daughter were playing in the front yard of a Rye Brook home, not far from the first attack, when the coyote came from behind.

“It lunged for my granddaughter and got her in the upper arm and drew blood,” said Gary Zuckerman, 65. “My son grabbed my granddaughter and turned around, and it bit him in the top of his leg.”

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