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North Tonawanda Police take on black bear chase

A chase between the North Tonawanda Police Department and a wild black bear woke up several North Tonawanda residents Friday morning, who gawked from their windows at what they were watching.

Minutes after the chase, however, residents were back outside, continuing their day-to-day lives.

Joseph Marzulli said he heard about the bear sighting on Facebook and soon discovered the incident was happening a few blocks from him. Although he kept his 9-year-old son inside the house, he said, he wasn't afraid because he feels that "black bears aren't looking to hurt anybody."

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The North Tonawanda Police Department received its first call about a bear spotting at 7:40 a.m., according to patrol captain Karen Smith.

Multiple calls from residents followed, as officers were dispatched to the scene. Police caught sight of the bear at the intersection of Oliver Street and 16th Avenue.

Smith said the young male bear was not aggressive at all, as he "went through [their] whole city." Police followed the animal for blocks as he made his way through residents' backyards, sidewalks and streets.

Some residents said the bear did not pose a threat to them and were not bothered by his appearance.

Annette Pagliei was home with her five children when she got a text from a neighbor, a police officer, warning her of the sighting. She closed off her backyard but said she had no worries about the bear because she "knew the police would get it."

The police reported the incident to the Department of Environmental Conservation, which sent officials to the area to monitor the bear.

The bear had been herded into woods on Daniel Drive by late morning.

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