BRISTOL -- It was a close call Monday after a bear walked into a Bristol liquor store.
The bear walked into Crazy Bruce's Discount Liquors on Route 6. The black bear made it through the front door, but an employee managed to lock the inside door so the bear couldn't get into the actual store.
“Around 220 I saw what I thought was a large dog run down the side of the store,” said employee Daniel Thibodeau who saw the whole thing unfold. "Walked into the foyer, stood around for about 15-20 seconds. We had locked the doors, locked him inside.”
The black bear made it through the outside door, but Assistant Manager Dan Niedzwiecki managed to lock the inside door so the bear couldn't get into the actual store.
“Bear was right out there in the foyer and I was surprised,” Niedzwiecki said. “Just like everyone else.”
However, he wasn’t too surprised to help a customer who was caught off guard and met the bear in the foyer. Niedzwiecki was able to pull the bear inside of the store just in time.
“A guy came in after the fact in the bear was out there and he got in okay. So yes we are very grateful no one was hurt,” Niedzwiecki said.
Still, the bear was not enough to deter customers like Brunel Piere.
“I mean when it comes to liquor, I don’t think I’m gonna be fearing any type of beer,” Piere said. “As long as they get rid of the bear, I’m all game.”
According to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, there have been 153 reported bear sightings in Bristol in the last year.