UPDATED: Naked, mentally ill patient escapes from hospital, is hiding in sewer

Published on Tuesday, 10 December 2013 18:09 - Written by

BY FAITH HARPER fharper@tylerpaper.com

Tyler police are trying to get a man out of the sewer on Beckham Avenue

Don Martin, public information officer for the Tyler Police Department, said a 19-year-old man was taken into custody Monday night on a peace officers warrant for mental custody.

He then was taken to East Texas Medical Center for an evaluation, Martin said.

About 3 p.m. Tuesday, deputies with the Smith County Sheriff's Office attempted to take him to a behavioral health center, but the man escaped from the deputies.

He ran across Beckham Avenue into a wooded area off Houston where he began shedding his clothes and got into the city's sewer drain.

The man eventually wound up near the hospitals on Beckham and crews are working to get him out of the drain.

Martin said he is moving freely in the drain.

Tyler police, water and fire departments are on scene along with the sheriff's office and security from both hospitals.

The rescue efforts are obstructing traffic along Beckham Avenue.