UPDATED 12:30 P.M. An eyewitness says a black bear was spotted in Alpharetta on Saturday around 9:45 p.m.
Taylor Atkinson of Wills Common subdivision said he was among a group of motorists to spot the bear.
"I was driving down Old Milton passing Wills Park on the right, and the people in the oncoming lane just slammed on the breaks. This bear comes barreling out from the little daycare place on Marietta Street," he said.
"I said, 'That's a huge dog-wait, it's a bear!," Atkinson said. "It came out like a huge puppy dog."
As soon as the cars all stopped and everyone was looking at it, the bear did a U-turn and ran right back to the daycare property.
"He was huge," Atkinson said.
When he called Alpharetta police, he said they told him unless the bear is attacking, there is nothing they can do.
"I've been in the mountains a bunch, and I've never seen a bear in the mountains," Atkinson said. "I was really caught offguard. Wow, a bear in Alpharetta."
Neighbors of David Cox, who serves as the manager of the Alpharetta Community Garden, got texts from Atkinson and another neighbor who spotted the bear near Wills Commons subdivision.
The first sighting was by Atkinson in the middle of Marietta Street at 9:45 p.m. near the entrance to the subdivision. Less than a half hour later, another neighbor spotted it.
"She said it ran out in front of them near the subdivision entrance and then disappeared around the daycare center on Marietta Street," Cox reported via email.
"It's surreal to see them in the city. I'm sure it's not the first time and won't be the last time," Cox said.
He wonders whether it might be the same bear spotted in Johns Creek recently.
"When I was a kid I always consider to be way out there in the country-I'm from Decatur-so I guess I was right," Cox said.
Atkinson figures the bear ran right through his backyard and Taylor's.
"David's house and my house back up into the woods," Atkinson said.
A creek runs directly behind their property in the neighborhood.
"There's coyotes out there all the time," he said, and that's where he thinks the bear came out of when it tried to cross over to Wills Park before beeping horns from cars with headlights shining scared it back.
Just the other day Atkinson said he spotted two large hawks up in trees in his backyard, screaming at his little Yorkshire terrier. He wasn't sure if they planned to make a meal of the little dog.
Atkinson said he's got a "big wildlife area in the backyard."