LAPD volunteer recovering after bee attack, eager to return to work

A Los Angeles police volunteer is still on the road to recovery, weeks after he was attacked by a swarm of angry bees in Encino. The entire ordeal was captured on live TV.

Gary Knabenbauer has been a volunteer with the Los Angeles Police Department for nearly two decades. He was on the job in Encino on May 15, when he was seen live from SkyFOX, swarmed by the bees, which stung him repeatedly, forcing him to fall to the ground.

Fire crews were already in the area, because the same group of bees had attacked another person.

"As soon as they got out of the car, they came storming at my face," Knabenbauer said. "I was talking to my partner also they were trying to get at him through the windshield, they were hitting the windshield."

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After Knabenbauer fell to the ground, he tried to get up and move away, but the bees persisted. 

"They were on my eyes [I was] trying to get them out of my eyes and trying to keep my eyes closed, I didn't want to be stung in the eyeballs," he said.

The fall broke Knabenbauer's orbital bone, which required surgery to fix. Since the attack, Knabenbauer's been back and forth to the doctors, twice winding up back in the emergency room for a racing heart. 

Initially, there was confusion about how much of the medical bills Knabenbauer would be responsible for. The LAPD confirmed that any expenses beyond his personal insurance would be covered. 

The GoFundMe campaign Knabenbauer's son started has now raised more than $20,000, in anticipation of excess costs like replacing the glasses broken in the fall. After all the bills are paid though, Knabenbauer said he wants to donate the funds to the volunteer corps.

But right now, he's mostly looking forward to getting back on the job.

"I've been doing this for 18 years as a volunteer," he said. "The soonest I can get back, the better."