Naked, bleeding man stopped in Santa Rosa after cutting himself

Nikki Goetz said it was the scariest thing she had ever seen.

The 23-year-old woman was in Macy’s at the Santa Rosa Plaza on Tuesday evening and was about to catch the escalator to the third floor when she looked up to see a man with only a shirt on, naked from his waist down. He was descending the escalator with a knife in his hand and Goetz said she froze when she saw what he was doing to himself.

“I see the young man come down with a knife in his hand, cutting on his genitals,” said the Santa Rosa Junior College student. “I immediately backed away and warned customers.”

“I was in total shock,” Goetz said.

The naked man, with blood covering his genitals and his hands, was seen by numerous people at about 5:50 p.m. as he left the store and calmly waited for a traffic light at B and Seventh streets to use the crosswalk.

Police officers, called by an employee at the mall, found him on the east side of B Street, bleeding heavily from his groin area, Santa Rosa police Sgt. Chad Heiser said Wednesday.

As officers approached, the man sat down on the curb and put his hands up, allowing officers to handcuff him and firefighters and paramedics to treat him. He was taken by ambulance to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital.

The 26-year-old man, who police believe is a local transient, wasn’t arrested but was placed on a mental health hold, Heiser said. Officers recovered a knife.

One downtown employee said she saw the man and police as she walked to her car parked on nearby Seventh Street. “Cops were jumping out of their cars when I got there. He was on the ground by that time, handcuffed and bleeding profusely from the waist down,” said the woman, who asked to have her name withheld. “I won’t forget the dazed look on his face. It was heartbreaking.”

You can reach Staff Writer Randi Rossmann at 521-5412 or On Twitter@rossmannreport.

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