Young Seward resident injured in encounter
This much is known for certain about a Wednesday close encounter between 18-year-old Seward, Alaska resident Kyle Hubbard and a black bear:
Hubbard has a broken shoulder. The bear has fled back into the woods that surround the community of 2,500 at the head of Resurrection Bay about 125 miles south of Anchorage. And a Hot Pocket is missing.
Seward Police at first reported Hubbard was attacked by the bear, but later revised that view. They decided the stand-out football player for the Seward Seahawks was merely startled by the bear, fell backward, and injured himself.
His sister Wendy Brewi, however, said her brother was confused after smacking his head and told police two different versions of what happened. They settled on the least terrifying option in the wake of a bear mauling in Seward last week that sent teacher Ronn Hemstock to the hospital with serious injuries. Hemstock was worked over by a grizzly – a larger, more aggressive, and more dangerous relative of the black bear.
Brewi said her brother was actually knocked down by the bear shortly before the lunch hour and his Hot Pocket was stolen.
He “was walking to my dad’s house from the high school with a Hot Pocket in hand and was charged and smacked down by a bear,” she reported via text message. “He was knocked out and when he came to he saw the bear running away. He got up and ran to my dad’s house (where) our other brother called 911. He was taken to the hospital via ambulance where they x-rayed and confirmed and dislocated and fractured shoulder. He is home now resting, but feels like he’s been hit by a truck.”
The missing Hot Pocket would seem to indicate that no matter whether the bear knocked Hubbard down or caused him to fall, the bear got very close to the young man.
The Seward elementary and middle-schools, which were close to the scene of the incident, were put on lockdown for about an hour as police hunted for the bear. After the schools reopened, the small-town police department posted this on its Facebook page:
“ALL SCHOOLS ARE BACK IN NORMAL OPERATION. THE INCIDENT IS OVER. THERE WAS NO BEAR ATTACK THAT OCCURRED.”
That angered Brewi.
“I’ve been trying to defend my brother with them all day and they keep deleting my comments. So I give up on that and have come to realization, that if a child gets attacked by a bear they better have bleeding lacerations or they’re lying!”
Meanwhile, state officials are still trying to sort out what happened with another incident invovling a bear, apparently a grizzly, on the opposite side of the Kenai Peninsula the night before Hubbard’s encounter.
Alaska Wildlife Troopers said a man went to the local hospital in Soldotna after an incident involving a bear near the confluence of the Funny and Kenai rivers. It was unclear what his injuries. It was reported his dog got into a tangle with the bear, shots were fired from a 9mm handgun, and the man drove himself to the emergency room.
It remains unknown if the bear was hit by the gunfire or what happened to the dog.
This is a developing story.