Squirrel attacks boy, mother

Both get treatment for bites as officials capture animal

Squirrels: Cute, furry – dangerous.

An 8-year-old boy and his mother sustained minor injuries Friday night after a squirrel attacked them, clawing and biting their arms and legs outside a southeast Lawrence home.

Clara Wikstrom, 30, and her son, Jalin Wikstrom, were in Lawrence from Shawnee visiting Clara’s parents at their home on Bonanza Street. Clara and her father, Desmond Chikezie, were inside the house about 8:45 p.m when they heard Jalin yell from the front yard.

“We were inside watching Wimbledon when he came in crying,” Chikezie said. “We said, ‘what’s wrong?’ and he said a squirrel bit his arm.”

Clara Wikstrom stepped out onto the front porch to investigate when the squirrel “came out of nowhere” and attached itself to her leg.

“I have no idea where it came from,” she said, “but it was on there for a while.”

Hearing Clara’s screams from the porch, Chikezie rushed outside and swatted the squirrel off his daughter’s thigh. The squirrel then ran across the street and out of sight, Chikezie said.

When the authorities arrived, Lawrence-Douglas County Fire & Medical personnel attended to Jalin and Clara, who were taken to Lawrence Memorial Hospital for tests, while police sought the renegade rodent.

A neighbor told police she saw the squirrel run across the street and into a roof, where police cornered the animal and waited for an animal control service to arrive.

Police Sgt. Katherine Born said squirrels were not generally carriers of rabies.