Bear Attacks Man for Hoagie

Right in the driveway of his Jersey home

A hungry black bear attacked a Jersey man in his own driveway and then stole his hoagie.

"I'm still hurting pretty badly. My face is all messed up. It looks like I've been in a boxing match," Henry Rouwendal told The Star-Ledger.

Henry was in his driveway last Friday night in Vernon, N.J., loading his car up for a road trip. Lurking somewhere in the dark was a black female bear that smelled the Italian hoagie Henry had in a bag outside the car.

Wham! Henry got hit from behind.

"It blind-sided me. I was on the ground and I was thinking, 'What the hell just hit me?' "

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Henry, 52, was knocked to the ground face-first, according to the report. He rolled over to find the bear standing over him. It grabbed the sandwich. Henry went into fight rather than flight mode.

"I kicked him three times in the snout and one time in the throat. I think the one in the throat got him," said Rouwendal.

The bear ran off and Henry was left aching on the ground with a head injury, dislocated shoulder, large cut on his left temple and some deep body bruises. It took him an hour before he could get up and get back inside his home.

But those injuries look more like an "incident" than an "attack" to state wildlife officials.

"At this point, it just doesn't seem we will label this as an attack on a person…He has no bruises, claw marks or scratches or even a ripped shirt that indicates it was a purposeful attack by the bear," said Lawrence Herrighty, deputy director of the Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Fish and Wildlife.

Police told Henry not only was he "attacked" but also that it was the first attack of its kind in more than 25 years in their township.

The DEP did set up a big bear trap on Henry's property and nearly caught the female Tuesday night.

"Maybe I'll fill that trap with some sub sandwiches," said a good-natured Henry. This time, he joked, he'll ask the deli to hold the lettuce, onions and tomatoes because the bear left those behind.

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