Officials say man who fled naked into sewer was 'scared and disoriented'
Crews preparing to remove the man from a storm drain near ETMC in Tyler
Crews gather around a manhole near Mother Frances Hospital
Police lower a ladder down into a manhole in attempt to locate a man who escaped from police custody
TYLER, TX (KLTV) -
No charges have been filed against an East Texas man who escaped from officials and hid naked in a sewer.
Crews found Roemello Lewis, 19, in a culvert in the 600 block of S. Beckham Avenue just before 3 p.m. Fire fighters tried to remove him from the sewer through a manhole in the Mother Frances Hospital parking lot, but the teen refused assistance for more than 2 hours. Crews lowered an air duct into the area where he was trapped at around 5 p.m. to pump warm air into the drainage pipe.
Lewis was arrested on a peace officer warrant Monday night. He went through a mental health evaluation overnight then escaped from police custody Tuesday afternoon as he was being transferred to ETMC's Behavioral Health Center on University Boulevard.
Officers say Lewis ran into a wooded area, took off his clothes and dropped down into a storm drain.
The drainage pipes that run in that area are 18-inches wide.
In the end, ladders and one of the thinnest officers on hand solved the dilemma.
"We've got one officer who was a pretty small, slender person to get down actually in there and get close enough to him and assist him and get him out," says Don Martin, public information officer for The Tyler Police Department.
Martin says helping a naked man stuck in a sewer is a first for him and many others on the scene and he's glad no one was hurt in the process.
It is unclear where Lewis was taken after officials got him out of the drain.
Saturday, July 26 2014 2:09 PM EDT2014-07-26 18:09:07 GMT
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