(WSVN) - A Florida woman had a touching reunion with a cyclist who saved her from a scary bear attack. A man was biking nearby at the time, and he is now being hailed a hero.
Kathy Boyle has not seen Joe Schmidt since he saved her and her dogs on Christmas Eve in Collier County.
Boyle worked hard to put the reunion together.
“I’ve put calls out, we’ve contacted everyone we know in the community, and we said, ‘Do you know who it is? Who’s the fella who drives on his bike in the morning? Bright green, bright yellow shirt. Have you seen him? Who is it? I don’t know his name,'” Boyle said.
Now, she finally got to express her gratitude.
“Thank you so much,” she said. “The only reason I’m standing is because you came around that corner and we were able to distract the bear.”
Schmidt was just on his normal morning bike ride when the attack happened.
“Actually, just kinda getting towards the end of the ride and I heard some screaming,” he said.
He rode as fast as he could to go help.
“All I could think about was, you know, it’s a matter of split second,” he said. “‘OK, I got to get down there.’ I thought you were being attacked. I mean, I thought you were going to be dead.”
Together, he and Boyle shouted the bear away.
“There are only a few people out there early in the morning, and I just was trying to hold on long enough that someone would be walking,” said Boyle.
Schmidt said he doesn’t want too much credit.
“I didn’t really do as much as she thinks I did,” he said. “She went full martial arts.”
“It would’ve been a different holiday for Don if Joe hadn’t come around that corner,” said Boyle.
Boyle and her husband will still be forever grateful to Schmidt and their two pups for saving her life.
The dogs were injured in the bear encounter but are now recovering and expected to be OK.
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