New Jersey Cub Scout Leader Attacked by Bear
ABC 7 NY reports that 50-year-old Christopher Petronino of Boonton, NJ, is recovering after fighting off the bear with a hammer. Three of his scouts were able to call for help which is probably what saved the man's life.
The group was hiking at the Splitrock Reservoir in Morris County, New Jersey on Sunday afternoon.
Police say that Petronino encountered the bear inside of a cave. Petrpnino wanted to show the scouts (one of which is his son) the cave which is off of the trail.
The scouts then heard Petronino's calls for help. They initially tried to lure the bear out with food. When that didn't work, the scouts called for help on their cell phones, and were also able to build a signal fire to aid the rescue units.
Bob Considine, a spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Protection, said in a statement
Petronino struck the bear twice in the head with a rock hammer. He then pulled his sweatshirt over his head and curled into the fetal position. He yelled to the scouts, who were outside the cave, to leave and go get help.
The smoke from the fire forced the bear out of the cave. When the bear came out of the cave the groups' dog began barking loudly at it, causing the animal to run away.
Petronino was able to get out of the small cave opening, in spite of his injuries.
Petronino was taken by helicopter to Morristown Medical Center for treatment. The three uninjured scouts are being praised for their bravery by authorities.