Police: Man crashes while Bridge of Lions raised

Officers say man ran toward Castillo de San Marcos, stripped naked

Published On: Aug 01 2012 03:32:04 PM EDT   Updated On: Aug 01 2012 08:55:38 PM EDT
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -

Tourists in St. Augustine are still shocked Wednesday night by what they witnessed on a tour of the Castillo de San Marcos.

Police said a man crashed his car on the Bridge of Lions and then ran naked to the fort, before jumping off a balcony.

It happened Wednesday afternoon and police and residents said they're stunned about what happened.

On a historic tour of the Castillo de San Marcos, Ken Robison never thought a man running naked would become part of the attraction.

"I heard someone yelling," Robison said. "I actually thought maybe perhaps it was part of the whole scene, being there at the fort. I turn around, I look, here comes this man bloodied from his face down and as I look down farther and he ran past me, he was naked."

Robison said he was shocked to become a witness to something like this on his St. Augustine vacation.

According to police, an unidentified man drove his white pickup truck across the Bridge of Lions while it was coming down from the "up position."

They said he drove down the wrong lane, slammed over the cross bars and crashed into another car.

"He flipped the vehicle. He jumped out of the truck and started running towards the fort," Sgt. Brian Frasca with the St. Augustine Police Department said. "As he was doing that he was disrobing for whatever reason, we have yet to determine."

It's not a short run from the bridge to the fort. It's nearly a quarter of a mile and investigators said when he made it to the second floor, he created quite a spectacle, by resisting officers.

"He started fighting with them in an effort to get away from the officers," Sgt. Frasca said. He jumped over the balcony and fell about 12 to 14 feet and hit his head.

The man was taken to the hospital and according to police, is doing ok.

A strange chain of events started at the Bridge of Lions, Robison said, makes for a memorable vacation.

"I was looking forward to going through the fort and you know, just couldn't finish the trip, the tour, because of that," Robison said. "It was definitely crazy."

The man was taken to Flagler Hospital and police said the man will likely face formal charges.

Authorities believe he was under the influence of some sort of substance, but they do not yet know what.

The bridge was closed on Wednesday for a couple of hours and reopened just after 5 p.m.