Boy scout attacked by bear returns home

By Stefano DiPietrantonio – bio |email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Relieved parents of a group of local Boy Scouts hugged their sons as they de-planed at CVG Friday night.

Only FOX19's Stefano DiPietrantonio was there to get their first-hand account, of a bear attack, while they were camping in New Mexico.

There were hugs all around. The boys are glad to be back, after what was a scary, surreal experience at a Boy Scout camp in New Mexico.

A bear attacked their tents and fellow scout Aaron Myers got the worst of it.

"Somebody screamed it's on the tent and then I heard bear," said Tanner McGladrie.

"I didn't really know what was going on," said Matthew Benson. "My tent was on the opposite side of the camp, I just heard screaming."

"It was just 5 o'clock in the morning," said Beth Myers, Aaron's mother. "And they were all still asleep so he sat up in the tent, and I guess the sudden movement, and it was right next to the bear, you know, made the bear bite him, and attack him."

14-year-old Aaron Myers was closest to the black bear when it struck. His mother Beth said one of the adult leaders took swift action and saved her son.

"Oh my gosh, the bear has Aaron," Myers recounted the adult leaders recollection of the day's events.

"His head was in the bear's mouth," said Beth Myers' friend, Diane Benson.

"And then, he (the adult leader) picked up this huge stone and threw it at the bear's backside which loosened it's grip on my son's head," Myers said.

"Everybody jumped out of the tent and started screaming and it just wouldn't go away so we had to throw rocks at it and bang pots and pans," McGladrie said.

Two medics in the group gave Aaron first aid, then he was taken to a local hospital. To the boy's surprise the bear came back, two more times.

"They killed it," Matthew Benson said. "They didn't know the motive, there's nothing smellable in the tent, just attacked."

The boys had done everything they were trained to do. No wearing of any deodorant, no wearing of any kind of, what they call, 'smellables'.

Even the clothing they ate their meals in, was not allowed in the tents. Park rangers double checked their gear.

"They actually went around and they were smelling everything with dogs and we didn't do anything wrong, the bear just attacked," McGladrie said.

"When you go to high mountains and you're out in wildlife, there is a certain risk and we knew that," Diane Benson said.

Park rangers had warned the group.

"We had seen a bear earlier in the day, so we were just like, it wasn't that same bear, but they said they had a nice one and an active that was really aggressive," McGladrie said.

Aaron is doing well, now that he's back home in Cincinnati.

"He seems to be in pretty good spirits," Beth Myers said. "You know, we're kind of worried about maybe a week later, or next time when we went to go camping how he's going to feel. but overall, he seems to be doing just fine."

"They're all fine, because Aaron's fine," Diane Benson said. "But we realize that we're very blessed."

"You guys glad to be back? Yeah, it's really nice," Matthew Benson said.

The parents said no one has slept much the last couple of days. They are all looking forward to their mother's cooking and sleeping in the safety of their own homes and their own beds.

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