ORLANDO, Fla - A routine morning jog around Lake Baldwin in Orlando has become anything but that for Ryan Gerlach.
“I’m just changing the song on my phone and this shadow lurked down with its razor talons swooping and it swooped down and I started running and screaming,” Gerlach said.
He ran faster, trying to get away from the angry bird.
“And then about just a few jogs later it swooped down again and now I’m really freaking out and it just kept launching at me,” Gerlach explained.
His heart still racing by the time he made it home to his wife and son. That went down on September 10, around 5:30 in the morning. Since then, he has warned others.
“I would tell people as they were jogging by hey careful there’s a beast coming down and attacking and they laughed at me,” Gerlach said.
He also alerted neighbors via social media.
“People were saying it was probably a hawk,” Gerlach said.
FOX 35 News asked him about the size of the bird’s wingspan.
“Like when I tell my friends, my wife, and the news I say about this big,” he replied while stretching his hands out as far to the right and left as he could. “But in actuality maybe like this,” gesturing slightly wider than his shoulders.
Thursday morning, a week to the day later, it happened again. Same time. Same place.
“I actually saw a shadow coming down on me. It was pretty ominous,” Gerlach explained. “Today was the first time it actually touched me. And the adrenaline really started running.”
Looking around, an owl atop a roof to a dock an owl was the only bird he spotted. He assumed that was his attacker until FOX 35 News caught up with him. He put on a hard hat to go in for a closer look at the tree the winged beast keeps flying out of. That’s when he discovered two hawks protecting a nest above. One of the hawks taking flight.
“This guy that swooped down the temperament and I’m pretty sure it had red demon eyes that could be the one. I may have been mistaken about this owl,” Gerlach said.
But, he can’t say with 100 percent certainty.
“Could have been an owl. Could have been a hawk could have bene some ungodly beast. All I know is be careful when you’re running around Baldwin. It’s out there,” Gerlach said.
While he’s going to continue his morning runs, Gerlach says he may take a detour off the exercise trail to avoid the flying feathered creature who he feels has it out for him.