TAMPA, FL (WFLA) – Tampa police are investigating an incident on Dale Mabry Highway that involved a naked man running around on the roadway jumping on cars. The man later died at a hospital.
Police say it started around 5:30 a.m. on Wednesday near Dale Mabry and Spruce Street. A naked man was behaving erratically, running on Dale Mabry Highway and jumping on cars. At one point, he banged his head on a car.
The man was identified by police as Nathan Hamilton, 39.
“The person was obviously high on some drug that would take 10 officers from the police department to take him down,” said John Deguenther who was staying at the Howard Johnson’s Hotel, just two doors down from where the disturbance began.
“When he yelled, you felt that somebody was going to get killed,” said Deguenther.
Police responded to the scene to subdue Hamilton, who appeared as though he was on “some kind of mind-altering drug,” according to Steve Hegarty with the Tampa Police Department.
Hamilton continued to fight the officers in the police car, where he suffered medical issues, Hegarty said. He was taken to the hospital, where he later died.
Police shut down Dale Mabry Highway while responding to the bizarre incident.
Guests at the nearby Howard Johnson’s motel witnessed the unusual chain of events. One guest said he was staying in a room next to Nathan Hamilton. He was shocked at what he heard Hamilton say.
“The man was saying how could you do this? It was only a baby. I’m going to kill you,” said the motel guest, who did not want to be identified.
The hotel guest was was too scared to come out of his room, but did call the front desk to alert them. Meanwhile, other guests who also did not want to be interviewed on camera, woke up to what sounded like fighting.
“He was definitely in a rage. It sounded like his was mad. I was so tired, I couldn’t make out what he was saying, but he was definitely mad at someone,” said another guest.
Motel employees and workers at a nearby gas station say they saw Hamilton running naked into the street, jumping on cars and then say he started slamming his head into a car’s windshield.
We’ll have the latest information at 5 and 6 tonight on WFLA News Channel 8.