Crime

He was feeding cats in the Keys. Another man told him to stop, then beat him, cops say

Robert Smith, from Key Largo, shows wounds he said he suffered when he was attacked by a man Tuesday, May 14, who told him to stop feeding a feral cat colony near mile marker 101.
Robert Smith, from Key Largo, shows wounds he said he suffered when he was attacked by a man Tuesday, May 14, who told him to stop feeding a feral cat colony near mile marker 101.

Police in the Florida Keys are looking for a man who reportedly attacked another man who was feeding feral cats in Key Largo, leaving him with cuts and bruises on his face and possibly missing teeth.

Robert Smith, 74, is one of several people in the Upper Keys who feeds the large feral cat population in the area. Around 2 a.m. Tuesday, he was feeding them along the treeline at mile marker 101 on the ocean side of U.S. 1 when a man approached him and told him he was breaking the law, according to a Monroe County sheriff’s report.

Smith told the man he was not violating the law and continued giving the cats food. The man then hit Smith on the right side of his head, knocking him to the ground, according to Deputy Daniel Valdes’ report. Smith hit his head on the ground during the fall.

Smith’s girlfriend who was in a pickup truck when the attack happened and did not see him get hit, drove him to a nearby gas station, where he called 911.

Paramedics treated him there, but Smith “refused to be transported to the hospital for treatment,” Valdes stated in his report.

Smith described his attacker as a white man with facial hair who is about six-feet to six-three.

Deputies followed up with Smith Wednesday night at his home at a nearby RV park to ask him if he had any more information on the man who attacked him. He did not.

Smith told the deputies some of his teeth were broken in the attack, but he said it was too painful for him to open his mouth for additional photographs, Deputy Paul Bean wrote in a supplemental report.

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