DENVER (CBS4) – New video shows another attack on Denver’s 16th Street Mall, provoking a strong response from Denver’s mayor.
The video, posted to Facebook on Wednesday by Caleb Bonham, shows a man wielding PVC pipes and violently swinging them at anyone within reach.
“It was shocking. It was crazy. I’ve never seen a shirtless guy holding a PVC pipe chasing people around,” said Jack Cutter whose friend recorded the video.
The suspect is seen striking another man on more than one occasion with the large pipe on the mall at Cleveland Place. Bonham said he called police immediately.
“We wanted to draw awareness. It’s been getting worse and worse every year. I guess it kind of goes through cycles,” said Cutter.
The man, later identified as Clarence Seeley, may be homeless. Police believe he started causing problems blocks away before the video was recorded.
“For 40 minutes we received four calls that he fits the description of that incident that officers were responding to,” said Denver Police Deputy Chief David Quinones.
Police say Seeley is from Indiana and has only been in town a week. Investigators say he was incoherent when they approached him but aren’t sure if that’s because of mental health issues or drugs.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock talked about drugs, specifically marijuana, in response to the attack.
“Let’s be clear. Marijuana is drawing people to the mall. The travelers are very clear. I can tell you this because I’ve talked to the travelers,” said Hancock. “This is one of the results of the legal marijuana industry in Denver and we’re going to have to deal with it.”
It was Monday when Hancock and the Denver Police Department made an announcement to increase patrols on the 16th Street Mall. There have been many incidents in the area with people whom the mayor referred to as “urban travelers,” causing many to feel unsafe.
The strategy for improved safely involves spending over half a million dollars to increase police patrols and add resources.
Some of the people assaulted on Thursday did not stick around to talk to police. Investigators would like to talk to them. One man suffered a head injury.