The homeowner didn't have a clue, so neither did the cable TV repairman as he ducked into the basement.

Then he heard a noise.

"He heard growling, and he thought it was the guy upstairs," a witness told New York's Fox5 TV station. "And when he turned around he saw the bear laying there. . . . He left all his equipment there and ran out."

A large black bear. A 500-pounder, officials estimated.

The incident unfolded Wednesday afternoon in a crowded neighborhood Hopatcong, Sussex County, where the bear had been spotted earlier in the day.

The basement was accessible from outside.

State Fish and Wildlife officers arrived, who shot the bear with a tranquilizer dart. The bear then wandered a few blocks before collapsing

Eight men were needed to lift the bear onto a truck, Fox reported.

A new location would be found for the bear, officials said.

Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or pmucha@phillynews.com.