An Ohio man was in West Virginia on Friday when he called 911 to report a fake bear attack. He did this in order to get a ride out of the woods after crashing his side-by-side vehicle.
According to Belle Fire Chief David Armstrong, 47-year-old Christian Leonhardt called 911 after crashing his side-by-side vehicle. However, he claimed that he needed help because he was “being circled by bears and being attacked” and that he was injured.
Fire Chief Armstrong said dispatchers instructed Leonhardt to apply pressure to the wound with his shirt, that they later learned never existed. After first responders arrived, they learned of two different scenes. One was where Leonhardt crashed his side-by-side, and the other was where he claimed he was being attacked by bears.
According to Armstrong, it took the department over an hour on their side-by-side vehicle to actually reach the location where Leonhardt was found. It was later determined that Leonhardt was “not injured” and “not attacked” by a bear, which led authorities to arrest Leonhardt.
According to WCHS, reporting on a criminal complaint, Leonhardt claimed during his initial calls with dispatchers that he had been walking for days. Meanwhile, searchers attempted to scare off any bears in the area with their lights and sirens. When found, according to the complaint, Leonhardt stated that he was intoxicated and “just wanted a ride out of the woods.” He then apologized and declined medical treatment.
Leonhardt was booked into the West Virginia Regional Jail on charges of falsely reporting an emergency and was released on the same day.
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