Police: Naked man on I-75 not likely to be charged

Holly Fournier
The Detroit News

Auburn Hills — Police said they do not anticipate charges against a 53-year-old Bloomfield Hills man who shed his clothes on Sunday and walked down the freeway wearing only a cowboy hat.

Police responded just after 11:30 a.m. to reports of a man walking naked in the middle of northbound Interstate 75 near the Chrysler ramp, south of University Drive, said Lt. Casimir Miarka. The man was taken into custody and hospitalized for treatment.

"I doubt we're going to charge him," Miarka said on Tuesday. "At this point, we want to make sure he gets the care he needs. That's more important."

Waterford Township resident Francis Gojcaj said he was driving with his wife and brother when he captured the incident on film. He pulled to the side of the freeway as the nude man, who appeared to be barefoot, slowly walked in the opposite direction of traffic and cars maneuvered around him.

"Honestly, when we first noticed him walking, (we were) shocked," Gojcaj said on Tuesday. "You don't know whether this is someone messing around or if it's something serious."

Gojcaj said they could tell it wasn't a joke as the man walked closer.

"He had this look in his eye; he wouldn't make eye contact with anybody," Gojcaj said. "He was just walking with a serious look on his face."

Gojcaj said other witnesses told him the man was approaching vehicles on the road.

"He's trying to open up car doors," a man tells Gojcaj in the video. "His truck's over there, his clothes are all laid out in the road."

Police on Monday could not confirm if the man was attempting to open doors of passing cars.

"I think he was approaching cars," Miarka said. "I don't know if he was trying to open doors."

Gojcaj said he saw vehicles slide on the slick road to avoid hitting the man.

"The freeways were not plowed at that point and literally he was barefoot," Gojcaj said. "All he had was his cowboy hat on and he was walking through the slush."

Miarka said the man came close to serious injury.

"It was already snowing and traffic was moving pretty slow," Miarka said. "Some cars passed just a few feet from him. It is incredible he wasn't hit."

Miarka said the man apparently drove onto the freeway and "ran off the roadway and into the ditch" before exiting the vehicle and shedding his clothes.

Responding officers were able to get the man into a patrol car without incident, Miarka said.

The man appeared calm as he was taken into custody, Gojcaj said.

"He went to the police, he literally walked right up to them," Gojcaj said. "He walked right up to the cop car and put his hands behind his head."

Miarka said the man first was taken to a fire station then to a hospital for treatment.

"He was checked in and was being evaluated at the hospital," he said.

It is unknown what prompted the incident, Miarka said.

"He never told us why he did this. We obviously wanted to get him medical treatment," Miarka said. "Right now, all we are concerned about is getting him some help to find out what is wrong with him."

Sunday's incident came just days after another naked man was wrestled into custody by police on Thursday in Madison Heights. The 25-year-old Troy resident was seen around 1:45 p.m. walking along 12 Mile just west of Stephenson Highway.

He was transported to St. John Oakland Hospital where he was admitted for psychiatric evaluation.

HFournier@detroitnews.com

Staff Writer Mike Martindale contributed.