Bear Throws Man Across Garage, Bites Him On Head: ‘I Got Pummeled’

The frightening encounter happened while the Pennsylvania man was trying to fill a kiddie pool for his granddaughter.
LOADINGERROR LOADING

A Pennsylvania man is lucky to be alive after stumbling upon a black bear that got into his garage and attacked him.

John Swartz, 60, was preparing to set up a kiddie pool for his granddaughter at his home in Danville last week when the bear attacked him, viciously biting him on the head, Fox affiliate WOLF-TV reported.

Swartz had entered his garage to turn off a hose he was using to fill the pool, not knowing that a bear had found its way into the garage through an open door.

Swartz told ABC affiliate WNEP-TV that he was reaching down to turn off the water and as soon as he “touched the spigot, I got pummeled.”

Swartz and his wife, Lori, captured the frightening moment via a security camera. The pair shared the footage of the Thursday night attack that they say they will “never forget” on Facebook.

In one clip, the black bear can be seen making its way into the garage moments before Swartz enters. Swartz is then shown being flung across the room after the pair tussled out of the view of the camera. Next he’s seen sprinting back into his home while holding his head.

“It was something huge,” he told WNEP of the bear. “It hurt, and it was loud, like a growl. I got hit against the shelves, and I remember holding my head.”

Swartz told WOLF-TV that he knew he had injuries when he saw blood coming down his head.

The bear, which appeared to be unharmed, walked away toward a nearby property.

Pennsylvania State Police responded to his wife’s 911 call, according to WOLF-TV. Swartz was taken to a medical center, received stitches and treatment for his wounds and then was sent home.

It was only until after the attack, when Swartz replayed the footage, he said, that he realized the bear had hit him again while he was trying to run away.

“After we retrieved the video, I find out that me and the bear met again. I fell over the bear. Of course, I got a good scuff on my elbow,” he told WNEP.

State police have since set up a trap filled with doughnuts near the site of the attack to try to capture the roaming bear.

“It was horrible,” Lori Swartz told WNEP of her husband’s attack, “but we’re lucky that it’s all that happened. He has a couple of wounds, but they’ll heal.”

John Swartz told the NorthcentralPA news site that he plans to be “a little cautious of my surroundings from now on.”

He said he doesn’t want the bear to be euthanized, telling WOLF-TV: “It’s very understandable as to why it did what it did. I surprised it and it surprised me. It had one way out, and it was through me.”

State police didn’t immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.

There are about 18,000 black bears in the state, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

Black bears are typically harmless to humans. Most attacks are a defensive reaction to a person who comes too close, according to the North American Bear Center.

Popular in the Community

Close

What's Hot