TAMPA (FOX 13) - Tampa Police have identified the man who died early Wednesday after he ran naked, into the path of oncoming traffic on Dale Mabry Highway, then jumped on cars and repeatedly smashed his head against a windshield.
Police said it all started just after 5:30 a.m. Thursday. TPD said 39-year-old Nathan Howard Hamilton was staying at the Howard Johnson hotel near Spruce street. Officers had to subdue Hamilton, who was acting erratically, running around and jumping on cars in the roadway.
FOX 13's Ken Suarez was there Wednesday morning, and reported seeing 10 cruisers on the scene, blood in the street, and a car with bloody hand prints on it.
Steve Hegarty of the Tampa Police Department told FOX 13 that the man had banged his head against the windshield of one car so hard that the glass broke.
The hotel manager told FOX 13 that Hamilton checked in on Monday and seemed normal at the time. However, other guests at the hotel reported hearing screaming and banging in the hours before the man's naked rampage on Dale Mabry.
One guest who was staying in a nearby room told FOX 13's Evan Lambert, "A little after five today I heard someone kinda just going on a rage, just kind of like an angry rage."
She said it sounded as if the man was angrily fighting with someone, but that she only heard one person. While guests say they heard the commotion, none have come forward saying they saw anything.
TPD said there is no evidence that anyone was in the room with Hamilton. He apparently broke a window outside one of the adjoining rooms, and then ran across Dale Mabry Highway.
Surveillance video appears to show the moment Hamilton ran into the roadway. In the southbound lanes of Dale Mabry, he was almost struck by a car. Police said that's when the car stopped, and Hamilton jumped on the hood, and then began kicking the car and hitting his head on the windshield. The car began moving forward, but Hamilton stayed on the hood.
Finally, the car stopped just south of Spruce Street, in front of a Denny's restaurant and, according to police, Hamilton continued to hit his head on the car. He suffered injuries to his head, face, and legs.
A witness who called 9-1-1 said the man appeared to be on drugs. An officer who arrived on the scene was unable to restrain Hamilton, and an attempt to deploy a Taser was unsuccessful. Several officers were later able to handcuff Hamilton. Officers said Hamilton appeared to lose consciousness several times, and then continued to act aggressively.
Hamilton was transported to the hospital, but died as a result of his injuries. His cause of death has not been determined. The area of Dale Mabry at Spruce and Columbus remained closed until just before 9:30 a.m.