Syracuse, NY -- Carlton Frank was smoking cocaine this morning before he set off on a bizarre journey in Syracuse that ended with him dressed only in a t-shirt and dead, Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler said.
A woman, whom Fowler would not name, told police Frank began to act violently after smoking cocaine, the chief said.
Frank barged into one home in the 1400 block of West Colvin Street, stripped to his t-shirt and jumped out of a window, police said. He was found next in the dining room of a home in the 100 block of Arlington Avenue moaning incoherently.
“This is just bizarre behavior,” Fowler said.” I don’t expect people who use drugs to act in a rational fashion. I can’t make any sense out of this.”
The medical examiner has told police that Frank had cocaine in his system when he died. Police are awaiting the results of more intensive toxicology screening, the chief said.
Here’s what Fowler said happened.
A woman told police she and Frank were smoking cocaine this morning. The large rock of cocaine had an odd smell and it made her feel different from any other cocaine.
As Frank, 40, of 139 Palmer Ave., continued to smoke the drug, he began to act violently. He pushed her around and that’s when he left the home, Fowler said.
At about 6 a.m., Frank, banged on the door of a couple renovating a house on West Colvin Street. The couple told police they know Frank as “Reese.” Police declined to identify the couple.
Frank told the couple he knew how to do renovations and asked if he could have a job. The couple said they didn’t have any work for him to do and they couldn’t pay him. Frank then asked the couple if he could lay down for a while.
The man thought it was an odd request, and told him no. Frank walked into the home anyway.
The couple said Frank began to act irrationally, scratching his head with both hands and shaking his head up and down in a violent way. The intruder began taking his clothes off, eventually stripping down to only a t-shirt.
The man urged Frank to calm down. He talked to the intruder about his children and about the need to get himself under control.
The couple became alarmed when Frank went to the home’s second floor.
At that point, the man grabbed a phone and called 911.
The man heard a crash and a window break. When they didn’t see Frank outside, the couple checked the house to see if he was hiding inside.
As police officers were interviewing the couple, they got a call about a break-in at a home a couple of blocks away in the 100 block of Arlington Avenue.
A woman who was alone with her infant heard a noise and found Frank, naked and moaning on her dining room floor. He was incoherent and kept trying to get up off the floor. The woman grabbed her baby and ran to the upstairs apartment to call 911.
When police arrived they forced their way into the house. They found Frank on the floor of the dining room. Chairs were overturned, items had fallen off the walls and there was broken glass.
Officers ordered Frank to put his hands behind his back. When he didn’t listen, they forced his hands behind his back. When they rolled him over they could see by the look on his face that something was wrong.
“There was clearly something wrong with Mr. Frank other than the fact he had broken into someone’s house,” Fowler said.
Officers called for an ambulance to come with lights and sirens screaming.
Frank collapsed as he was being escorted from the house. He was unresponsive and officers performed CPR until Fire Department rescuers arrived to take over. Frank was taken to Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Frank didn’t know the Arlington Avenue woman and police don’t know why he singled out that house, Fowler said.
“We’re thinking that he did, at some point, catch a ride with someone. Who would give someone a ride who was naked at 6 in the morning?” the chief said.
December 02, 2010