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Man who claimed bear attack facing charges

LONGWOOD — The victim told state wildlife authorities that he opened his door Thursday and got sucker-punched down by … something, maybe a black bear.

But, authorities said, it was less of a mystery than he let on.

It turns out Ernest Stamm, 49, was not ambushed by a bear, but was swatted in his yard, where he had apparently been feeding the critters from the nearby wilderness, officials said.

Officials said they found bear tracks on Stamm's property north of Orlando — and food containers strewn about.

"It possibly looked like chicken containers, like rotisserie chicken," said Lt. Ben Eason, of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.

Wildlife commission spokeswoman Joy Hill said late Thursday the "suspect" is a 200 pound bear. Although officials do not describe the encounter as an attack because they think the bear didn't set out to do harm, it will be baited, captured and euthanized.

There has never been a confirmed black bear attack on a human in Florida.

Stamm, who suffered cuts to his eye and nose, faces second-degree misdemeanor charges of feeding a bear.

Man who claimed bear attack facing charges 12/11/09 [Last modified: Friday, December 11, 2009 9:42pm]
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