Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Valley News
By Jon Johnson
Graham County – A couple got an unwanted early morning surprise when a man suffering from mental illness burst into their home naked complaining that someone was trying to shoot him.
Deputies responded to a residence on West Vista Drive at about 6:26 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 26, after the occupants’ neighbor entered their home without wearing any clothes.
The man, identified as Lewis Cook, later told officers that he had just had intimate relations with his girlfriend and the pair were lying in bed when he saw a red light coming from the closet that he took as someone with the Mexican Cartel there to shoot him.
That caused Cook to run to his neighbor’s house stark naked and ask for assistance. After being told to leave, Cook returned to his home and he and his girlfriend had a loud discussion while both were still naked, according to the reporting party. The neighbor also said Cook had been acting odd all night and had been setting his car alarm off at 2:30 a.m., which woke them.
Cook’s girlfriend informed authorities that Cook had not been taking his prescribed medication for a mental health issue. She advised when Cook came back into the residence, he pushed her outside while she was still naked as well. The girlfriend managed to gather her baby and they were safely taken in by her sister, who is also a neighbor.
Cook then grabbed a bedsheet and ran down the street. He was later located by a Pima Police officer as Cook hid in a ditch with hot springs mineral water runoff from the Essence of Tranquility hot springs and massage business at 6074 Lebanon Loop. Safford Police officers also responded to the call.
Cook was taken into custody and then transported by Lifeline Ambulance to Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center for evaluation and any treatment after being out in 29-degree weather while wet.
A deputy issued a victim’s rights form to the neighbor whose house Cook entered and informed them that if Cook was admitted to a mental health facility after evaluation at the hospital charges would have to be pending by the Graham County Sheriff’s Office.
A public records employee at the Sheriff’s Office informed Gila Valley News that Cook had been taken to a mental health facility after his evaluation and was not booked into the jail.