Florida of the day: Man attacked by bobcat in posh downtown Tampa condo

“Man says bobcat attacked him in Tampa’s Skypoint condos”, reads the headline in today’s Tampa Bay Times. The man in question is contractor Marcos Hernandez, who was visiting the building on a call when he was attacked by a bobcat owned by condo resident Christine Lee.

Skypoint Condos is a posh condo in a pretty nice location in downtown Tampa. Located at the corner of Ashley and Polk, it’s right across the street from Curtis Hixon Park, the Tampa Museum of Art and the Glazer Children’s Museum, the Riverwalk, and a couple of blocks away from the Straz Center for the Performing Arts and the John Germany Library, and it has a view of the minarets at the University of Tampa. It’s the last place you’d expect to get mauled by a bobcat.

The attack took place in May, and Hernandez has filed a lawsuit. Here’s what the Times has to say:

The attack is alleged to have occurred in Unit 1814 of the Skypoint building, the 36-story high-rise at 777 N Ashley Drive in downtown Tampa. Lee lives there and had custody and control of the bobcat on the date in question, the complaint states.

The Tampa Police Department responded to multiple calls about 12:15 p.m. that day. The incident did not generate a police report, but dispatch call notes indicate that Hernandez entered the condo to conduct an inspection. The notes say he was attacked by “a cat,” which scratched his arms and made them bleed.

His co-workers took him to Tampa General Hospital, police noted.

His complaint states he did nothing to provoke the creature into attacking him. It accuses Lee of being negligent.

Bobcats are typically twice as big as the typical housecat. While they have been known to attack pets and livestock when their regular sources of food run low, they rarely attack people — we’re too large. Still, attacks on humans do happen, and when they do, they can inflict significant wounds, instinctively pouncing on the victim’s shoulder area and going for the neck.

Even domesticated Florida cats have led to 911 calls. In July 2014, Kush, a cat in DeLand, freaked out and attacked its owners, trapping them in their bedroom until they were rescued by police.

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