PEKIN — Heading toward home in Arizona, a man said he fell off his bicycle while fleeing from a panther, police said.

Just after midnight June 25, the Peoria County Sheriff's Office was called by a motorist near the western side of the Pekin bridge. She had pulled over after seeing a man crawling along Illinois Route 9, apparently trying to head toward the bridge and to Pekin, according to a sheriff's report.

A deputy talked to the man, who is 41 and lives in Phoenix. He said he had left Bloomington and was riding toward Arizona when he wrecked his bike on Route 9 west of the bridge, the report stated.

"I was riding from the gas station and I saw a panther," he told police.

He said he tried to flee the panther but somehow wrecked the bike, the report stated. He did not explain what happened to the panther.

The deputy wrote in the report, "I asked ...  if he had been drinking, and he stated he had taken some muscle relaxers and had a few beers. I did detect a strong odor of alcoholic beverages coming from his breath."

He complained of back pain, but not from falling from his bike but from falling off a cliff in Nevada, the report stated. The deputy asked if the man would like medical attention, and he agreed. An ambulance soon arrived and took him to a hospital, while the deputy took the bike to the sheriff's office.