A scary thing happened to popular TV personality Chip Chapman on the way to the Walden Club on Saturday night.
Mr. Chapman said he was going out to dinner with his wife and another couple shortly after 6 p.m.
He said they were on Chestnut Street getting ready to go in the building when his friend said, "Here comes the bear."
Mr. Chapman said, "My friend has a rather warped sense of humor so I thought he was kidding. But then I looked up and there was a bear about six feet away."
He said his wife edged up against a column and he got in front of her. He said, "I was trying to protect her - not that I could beat up a bear. But I would give it a heckuva fight."
Fortunately, the bear veered across Chestnut and ambled inside a parking garage.
Mr. Chapman immediately placed a call to police (at 6:15 p.m.). He was told by police they were getting plenty of calls about bear sightings. Officers were on the scene within minutes.
The veteran radio and TV announcer said he was close enough to the bear to see the tag in its ear from when it had been moved by wildlife officers earlier from the Smoky Mountains to Polk County.
He said he could also see "what looked like foam around its mouth - or at least a lot of saliva."
Mr. Chapman said, "It's obviously not something you see every day in downtown Chattanooga.
"If I see a bear again I want it to be behind iron bars."