Patrons aghast as naked man runs amok at Hayfields Spar

2010-07-06 00:00

A NAKED man shocked shoppers, motorists and petrol attendants when he ran amok — damaging people’s vehicles and fighting security guards — at a Pietermaritzburg ser­vice station yesterday afternoon.

The incident happened at the busy 24-hour KwikSpar and filling station in Hayfields at about 4.30 pm. It continued for about an hour before police finally took him away.

The man, who was first seen wearing a short pair of jeans and a T-shirt, reportedly arrived at the centre and started to act violently jumping on parked vehicles and and running around them while allegedly threatening to kill people.

Witnesses said they even saw him jumping on top of moving vehicles at a nearby traffic circle.

Engen station manager Emmanuel Hlophe said the drama started when the man broke a number of the station’s boundary flags, which are situated along New England Road. He said he went up to talk to the man in an attempt to calm him down.

“He gave me the parts of the flags that he had already broken. When I asked him where he was from, he just told me that he is from far away and that I don’t need to know,”said Hlophe.

The man then went to the parking lot where he jumped on top of vehicles and struck them with his open hand. He broke the side mirror of a bakkie.

Hlophe said the man tried to enter the KwikSpar, but a security guard scared him by producing a can of pepper spray.

“He ran to the traffic circle where he jumped on top of about five moving vehicles. He would just stand in front of the vehicles, and as drivers tried to reverse away from him, he would jump on top of the bonnets.”

Hlophe said the man later stripped naked at the traffic circle and ran back to the Spar, where he was caught by the security guard.

“The guards sprayed him with the pepper spray and overpowered him,” said Hlophe.

Another witness, Michael Mokone, said the man broke the cable tie that the security guards used to handcuff him.

“That man was so powerful. He was like a Spiderman when he jumped on top of the vehicles. He was running after the vehicles like a dog when it wants to bite a moving vehicle’s wheel,” said Mokone.

Pritha Sukhnandan of Hayfields said the man dented the bonnet of her vehicle and damaged the handle of the driver’s door.

“That man really scared me. He was running all around my car. He would sit down in front of my vehicle and attempt to go under it. He kept shouting ‘ bulala wena’ — kill you,” said Sukhnandan.

Another witness used his phone to take the picture of the drama.

“As I was leaving the Spar, I saw the naked man being apprehen­ded. As a result of the pepper spray that they had sprayed him with, everyone in the area was choking,” said the witness.

Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joey Jeevan confirmed that police took the man away.

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