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A look inside naked man's cave; neighbor says he 'needs to be taken care of'

By Whitney Burbank, WhitneyB@kvia.com
Published On: Oct 17 2012 10:17:51 PM CDT
Updated On: Jan 14 2014 06:31:12 PM CST

ABC-7's Whitney Burbank reports.

EL PASO, Texas -

The naked "caveman" has intrigued El Pasoans and others internationally for days.

Some like his independent attitude, while others appreciate his biting criticism of politics.

One person went to the man's dwelling Wednesday, not out of curiosity but out of necessity.

El Paso Water Utilities sent a surveyor to the caveman's dwelling on a Northeast El Paso mountainside to decipher if the man has been using its property to create an extensive subterranean home.

Upon seeing the cave-like dwelling that earned the man who chose to remain anonymous the nickname caveman, utilities surveyor Richard Dyer remarked, "It's quite a setup."

ABC-7 discovered on Wednesday the caveman's dwelling is actually an intricate structure comprised of three main living quarters, including the cave he spoke through when he told ABC-7 Sunday he'd been residing there for three years.

It appears he was also living underneath some of the portions of the broken concrete slabs in a kind of underground labyrinth connecting the three main structures.

"I'm not sure if it's some kind of water structure that just collapsed. You can see the pipes coming down," said Dyer, as he puzzled over the dwelling. "Maybe it's some kind of drainage area."

Dyer will determine if the caveman is squatting on water utility property. An EPWU spokesman said if Dyer's report reveals that EPWU is responsible for the property, they'll work with El Paso Police to immediately remove any trespassers.

"He needs to be taken care of," said nearby resident Elizabeth Clay who thinks the caveman should be evicted. "I don't know this man, I don't know if he could hurt anybody."

Clay said she's seen him wandering around her dumpster and sitting up on the trail behind the neighboring apartment complex.

Other neighbors who wanted to remain anonymous, allege they've spotted the man swimming in their pool, working out on their jungle gym and even swiping clothes from their laundry room.

"I saw the story on TV, but I don't know why it was on CNN," said Clay, remarking on the national attention the caveman's received. "Maybe they could turn it into a tourist attraction."

ABC-7 did not see the man when crews visited the dwelling on Wednesday.

On Sunday a group of hikers approached ABC-7 after stumbling upon the cave and the man inside. The hikers said he chased them out of the dwelling in the nude.

On Sunday, the man spoke through a crack inside his dwelling. He was shirtless but did not answer when asked if he was naked. He said a tin of snakes nearby was for the animals in the mountain and not his own food.

"From the dumpster buffets and the fast food joints," he said of how he gets his food. "I'm a plasma donor. I'm not dying of anything, I'm drug free and disease free. God has blessed me with very good health."

While he lives in an out-of-the-way dwelling, he isn’t completely off the grid. He has a cell phone and does keep up on current events, mentioning the recently approved ballpark for Downtown El Paso and the planned demolition of City Hall.

He also talked about President Obama and Mitt Romney, calling one the "black Bush" and the other the "white Bush," implying both would continue the legacy of George W. Bush so it didn't matter which one you voted for.

The man said he's not hurting anyone and lives off of donations and recycling cans.

"What is my crime? You ask my good neighbors, most of them help me," he said Sunday before dismissing those that complain about him as busy bodies. "I'm sin free in every city. I'm baptized and saved. They need to worry about their own selves, to repent and help the community more."

Watch the full interview with the cave dweller here . Warning, it does contain some strong language.

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