Here's one way to get out of the woods...
On September 22, 2023, first responders received a call from Christian Leonhardt, age 47, who claimed to be injured and stranded in the woods, requesting help. During the call, he stated that he was attacked by a bear, and was in dire need of assistance, asserting that he had been walking for days, his phone was dying, and he was still surrounded by circling bears.
Try our newest blend - Backcountry Companion
In response to this emergency call, the Kanawha County Sheriff's Office, along with dispatchers and several search and rescue teams, launched search and rescue. They used emergency lights and sirens to both scare away potential bears and guide Leonhardt to their location. Authorities even attempted to involve a helicopter from the West Virginia State Police, per the report, in the search efforts.
Despite the dramatic claims made during the call, after a two-hour search, Leonhardt was located by the rescue team. However, upon their arrival, he refused medical treatment from fire and EMS crews, stating that he simply wanted a ride out of the woods. First responders noted that he had no visible injuries and was not bleeding.
Leonhardt later admitted that he was extremely intoxicated and apologized for wasting their time but insisted that he needed assistance getting out of the woods. Consequently, he was arrested and is now facing charges for falsely reporting an emergency incident.