Central Florida man's injuries not caused by bear, wildlife officials say

FWC officers investigate Sorrento incident

SORRENTO, Fla. - Florida wildlife officials said Friday that an injured Lake County man was not harmed by a bear, despite his claims that he wrestled the animal in his yard.

"His injuries did not come from a bear, however, we do believe a bear was here," a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officer said.  "The man chased after the bear, and his injuries are the result of him falling down on the pavement."

[PHOTOS: Bear attack (WARNING: Graphic images)]

The incident happened Thursday evening in the Oak Springs Mobile Home Park in Sorrento, according to Lake County deputies.

Josh Hennessey, 36, initially told Lake County sheriff's deputies that he was sitting on his porch when he heard rustling in the bushes near his home.

"I actually saw a shadow go by the side of my face.  (I) kind of looked over (and) thought it was somebody walking through the yard (and) I just wanted to go over and see who it was real quick because I don't really like people in the yard," Hennessey told Local 6.  "As soon as I got into the dark, he just came out at me.  It was a black bear, so I didn't see it until he was there."

Hennessey also said he wrestled the bear, which tried to drag him into the street before he fought it off.

Neighbors told Local 6 that they were aware of several bears in the area, however, none of the bears has attacked or bothered anyone previously.

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