Bears surprise homeowners |

Bears surprise homeowners

William Ferchland

A few miles apart but sharing similar stories, two Meyers-area residents were shaken by aggressive bears not intimidated by their human neighbors.

Sometime Thursday night into Friday morning, Chris Hammett said he had to defend his house on Seneca Drive off north Upper Truckee Road from an estimated 400-pound bear with a garden hoe.

Hammett, owner of Tahoe Underground night club, said the bear broke into his house through a window and damaged a refrigerator, tore up a couch and tore up curtains, among other things.

“It’s very unnerving and it’s very frustrating because you can’t do anything about it,” he said.

Feeling his hands are tied if the bear returns, Hammett was waiting for input from California Fish and Game Department on how to handle the problem bear.

“There’s no safety without eliminating the problem and there’s no peace of mind,” he said.

Around 5 a.m. Friday, Kandi Purcell in Meyers said she saw a bear munching on garbage about 25 feet from her house. The bear appeared aggressive and huffed at Purcell and her family as well as their barking dog. In addition, garbage day just recently passed and only one bag was in the garbage, said Purcell, a resident for seven years who is accustomed to bears.

“He was looking at us directly in the eye,” she said.

Even more distressing, Purcell said, was the slow response by the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department. Purcell said a deputy told her he wouldn’t be able to check out the situation because a change in shifts was occurring.

“I couldn’t believe it,” she said.

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