Man takes off clothes and walks onto freeway in Atascadero

A 25-year-old man stripped off most of his clothes and walked onto Highway 101 in Atascadero today, according to the Atascadero Police Department.

The man’s identity was withheld because of possible mental health issues.

Officers responded about 4 p.m. to a call about a male attacking an Atascadero resident’s landscaper; police later learned the two men were co-workers.

The man fled before the officers arrived, and a second caller told police the suspect was running parallel to the freeway.

Officers saw him take off most of his clothes and walk onto Highway 101 near the Santa Barbara Road freeway on-ramp. A California Highway Patrol officer then arrived and tackled him. Traffic was held up for about 40 minutes, police said.

Officers handcuffed the man, and medical personnel were requested to evaluate him for the possibility of a drug overdose. The man also was taken to Twin Cities Community Hospital for evaluation.

Police say the landscaper who was allegedly attacked didn’t want the man prosecuted.