Man attacked by rabid fox at Westerly golf course

WESTERLY, R.I. (WPRI) — The Rhode Island Department of Health and Westerly police are investigating after a rabid fox attacked a golfer at Winnapaug Country Club.

As John Cesana approached the second hole last Friday morning, he felt a sudden tug on his pant leg.

“I saw a fox with his head sitting right there looking straight up at me,” he recalled. “Really couldn’t believe it.”

Cesana has 27 years of military experience, which he said immediately kicked in. He used his club to push the fox away, but it fought back, so he grabbed his 5 wood and struck the fox repeatedly.

“So the third time I hit it, I hit it in the head, and it did die at that time,” said Cesana.

Police arrived to the course as the Rhode Island Department of Health took the animal’s body away for further testing. Those tests revealed the fox had rabies.

Luckily, the only scars Cesana has to show are a couple of splinters from the club, which he is now taking shots for. He was cleared of any other related illnesses.

Chris Jurgasik, the director of golf at Winnapaug Country Club, said it’s common to see animals roaming around but very rare for them to attack.

“We’ve got a lot of critters on this course,” he said. “Every wildlife you could imagine. But nothing like this has ever happened before.”

An email has been sent out to members of Winnapaug alerting them of the incident.