AUSTIN, Texas - Drivers stuck in traffic on Ben White Boulevard near Congress Avenue could not escape the crazed actions of a man who said he was on drugs at the time.
Viewer-submitted video shows him banging on windows, climbing on cars and scaring drivers who had no idea what to do.
“I saw the aftermath of what this man apparently did. Just went apestuff and started stomping on people's hoods and doing the crazy man dance,” said Larry Griffin, who said he showed up around the same time as police.
FOX 7 Austin tracked down the man seen acting out in that video. He did not want to speak on camera about the incident, but said he lives in the median at the intersection of Ben White and Congress Avenue and "took some bad dope." He said he won't do again, because he regrets the way he acted.
“They need to get some of the transients that need some help off the streets and into a rehab,” Griffin said.
The man in the video said police took him to a hospital for observation and then to jail for a previous warrant for disturbing the peace. The next day he was back at the same intersection.
“He deserved to go to jail,” said Griffin.
Others who live and work in the area say these incidents have been happening more often in the past few months.
“The situation with the homeless is not new, but it's getting progressively worse,” said Elisa Pinigis who owns commercial property near that intersection.
She said she has serious concerns for her safety, and the safety of her customers and family.
“We see people in the neighborhood who seem to have mental issues and some of them are acting out,” Pinigis said.
After seeing the video she's even more afraid, especially since her daughter and husband drive past that intersection every day.
“I don't know what I would've done in that situation or what to tell my husband and my daughter to be prepared in the future. Someone needs to address this,” said Pinigis.
That's why she contacted someone to address it, Austin police.
“I asked that they perform a directed patrol on that intersection. And what a directed patrol is, for Austin Police Department, is that they have extra coverage. They will send additional squad cars through more frequently,” Pinigis said.
She hopes that will help protect those who live, work or even drive in the area from finding themselves in a similar situation, while also identifying people in need of treatment options so they can get off the street.
“If you're jumping on cars, obviously, you need help,” said Pinigis.
FOX 7 Austin reached out to Austin police. They said officers were called out Monday morning, just before 8:30, in regards to a nature unknown urgent call. The man, identified as 47-year-old Steven Caldwell, was taken into custody. Police believe he may have had some warrants.