Florida Man on Flakka Thinks He's Possessed, Strips Naked, Disrupts Traffic on I-95

Drugs Via Pixnio
If you were driving down I-95 near the State Road 112 interchange in Miami last Sunday afternoon, you might have noticed a naked man wandering in southbound traffic.

Around 6:30 p.m. that day, a man exited his car, took off his clothes, and began walking north against traffic. Before long, Florida Highway Patrol arrived. City of Miami Police and Fire Rescue arrived soon after, disrupting traffic, all because some guy smoked too much flakka, police say.
A video shows State Trooper Ronald Melendez-Bonilla peacefully detaining the disturbed man, whose name New Times is withholding. In the incident report, the trooper wrote the man had a "lost and confused look on his face."

"As I was approaching the individual, I observed he was scared and unaware of his safety and the safety of others," Melendez-Bonilla wrote. He persuaded the man to put his hands up, drop the lighter he was holding in his clenched fist, and get on the ground, at which point the man "stated he needed help and was not a threat."
Melendez-Bonilla told the man he was detaining him for his own safety and then got him into an ambulance for an evaluation. He was later transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital.

While at the hospital, the man said he had been set up and that he was "in his car and felt something on his lap that was choking him and something possessed his body; therefore he exited his vehicle and started to take his clothes off."

The man said the other person in the vehicle was "some guy that he met at the hotel he was staying at" and that they were on their way to a casino. He also said he had "smoked crack cocaine and flakka earlier in the day."

The man, who lives in Broward County, has a long history of drug possession charges, including previous arrests for flakka, crack, and molly.

He was involuntarily taken into custody for psychiatric observation — "Baker Acted" —  because "at the time of the incident," Melendez-Bonilla wrote, "without care or treatment, he would cause serious bodily harm to himself or to others."

Police couldn't immediately say whether he was still in custody Friday.

It wouldn't be the first time someone stripped naked after taking flakka. In 2015, a man in Brevard County got naked and attempted to have sex with a tree after ingesting the synthetic drug. There was speculation that the naked man who ate another man's face on the MacArthur Causeway six years ago — the so-called Miami Zombie — was also on flakka at the time, though tests could not confirm it. 
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Meg O'Connor is a freelance journalist for Miami New Times. She moved to Miami from New York after earning a master's degree in investigative journalism from Columbia University. She previously worked for CNN's Investigative Unit.
Contact: Meg O'Connor