Naked, bleeding man stopped in Santa Rosa after cutting himself

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

The 23-year-old woman was in Macy’s at the Santa Rosa Plaza 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.

Surveillance video of the incident appeared to indicate the man was in the third-floor kitchen goods department and that he dropped his pants in front of a female employee before sawing on his penis with the knife as the woman backed away.

Goetz said she saw the bloody man as he began to leave the third floor on the escalator, carrying a long-bladed knife.

He retreated from the escalator for a moment before riding it down and walking out of the store, discarding his shirt along the way, Goetz said. A trail of blood led from the bottom of the escalator to the exit.

“He didn’t say a word. He didn’t make eye contact with anybody. He had a knife in his hand, so no one went up to him,” she said.

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

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, he sat down on the curb and put his hands up, allowing officers to handcuff him and firefighters and paramedics to treat him before he was taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital.

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

I won’t forget the dazed look on his face. It was heartbreaking.

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 randi.rossmann@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter@rossmannreport.

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