Witness recounts drunk man chasing bear with hatchet

(Provided Photo/News10)

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. (NEWS10) – The North Adams Police Department is urging everyone not to chase bears through the woods with a dull hatchet, especially if you’ve been drinking.

It was in a quiet, remote North Adams neighborhood that a bear was seen by a man living in an apartment complex. Police said he grabbed a hatchet out of his car and began chasing the bear.

Richard Winters was playing basketball with his fiancée Monday evening. He said bears are rarely seen in the area, but then he heard something.

“We heard a bunch of screaming out by the field,” he said. “That’s when I looked over and there was bear running through the field.”

At that moment, police said his neighbor, 61-year-old Brad Carpenter, grabbed a dull hatchet out of his car and took off towards the bear yelling at it.

“Everybody was telling him to stay away,” Winters said.

But with kids practicing in a nearby baseball field, Carpenter pushed on.

“He was more concerned about keeping the bear away from the kids kind of scaring it off,” Winters said.

After the bear made its way down the field, witnesses said they saw Carpenter chasing and yelling at it. He was forcing it away from the baseball field and the children.

Winters followed Carpenter to make sure he stayed safe.

“I wanted to go inside, but at the same time, I saw an old man walking over by himself, so I didn’t want something to happen to him,” he said.

Winters said the bear disappeared into the woods and paid no mind to Carpenter.

“He really didn’t seem too intimidated by the old man,” Winters said.

When police arrived, they said Carpenter was drunk. Carpenter was taken into police protective custody and later released.

Police and Winters are warning people to stay away from bears and leave them alone.

Police have not charged Carpenter, yet, but charges could be pending. They warn people to pick up any food left outside, lock trash cans and take down bird feeders.

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