Police release 911 calls from Rockaway Township bear attack

Rockaway Township police have released 911 calls made during a bear attack.

Rockaway Township police have released 911 calls made during a bear attack. (12/28/15)

ROCKAWAY TOWNSHIP - The Rockaway Township Police Department has released 911 calls made after a Boy Scout leader was attacked by a bear.

Christopher Petronino was hiking at the Split Rock Reservoir in Rockaway Township with his son and two other boys on Dec. 20 and wanted to show them a small cave that he found. When he went in the cave, he was grabbed by a bear that was sleeping inside.

The boys called 911 to report what happened.

“My scoutmaster went in a cave and a bear is in the cave with him,” one of the boys is heard saying on the call.

“[The police are] looking for you guys. Just stay on the line with me, you guys are doing great,” the dispatcher responded.

Eventually the bear left the cave. Petronino escaped, and called 911 as well.

"The bear pulled me into the cave and mauled me,” he told police. “Where are the kids?"

Petronino suffered injuries to his arms, legs, neck and head, but his injuries were not considered to be life-threatening. He told investigators that he had been in that cave many other times and never encountered a bear before.

After an investigation, the Department of Environmental Protection determined that the bear was not dangerous and only attacked because it felt threatened during hibernation season.

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