El Pasoans hiking up McKelligon Canyon expect a stunning view of the mountain and city and maybe even a glimpse at a rabbit or other wildlife.
They don’t expect to see a naked man who’s been living in a cave for three years.
A group of friends said their Sunday morning hike was spoiled after they came upon a mysterious cave that had furniture, personal effects, and other signs that someone was living there. Chris Redfearn, one of the hikers, shot cell phone video of the cave and surrounding area.
Then, out of nowhere, a naked man jumped out of the cave, chasing the hikers down the mountain, and giving them quite a scare, Redfearn said.
People living at an apartment complex at the foot of the mountain said they’ve known about the cave dweller for a while and that they are afraid of him.
“Normally, he's like wandering around,” one apartment complex inhabitant said. “We never know what time he's going to show.”
They sometimes spot him early in the morning, bathing in their laundry room, or even working out on a jungle gym.
"I don't feel safe,” one neighbor said.
Apartment complex residents said they suspect the mysterious man has even been swiping their clothes.
Along the path to his cave dead snakes in a liquid could be found.
Nearing the cave, Redfearn yelled “hey, I see you man!” when he spotted the man in his cave.
The man declined to give his name, saying it wasn’t necessary, but did flash a wallet with an ID. He also said he has a high school education and studied for two years at college, all in El Paso.
He freely talked about different topics, including how hikers and apartment inhabitants claiming he walks around naked and sometimes pops up, even when children are present.
“If that's true where's the pictures?" he asked, sitting shirtless, wearing glasses and sporting a beard. His face barely visible through the crack in the cave and he did not answer when asked if he was naked.
Redfearn’s cell phone video of the man taken from the morning hike didn't catch any nudity.
“As you can see from the water on the floor over there that's where I just bathed,” he said. “This is Franklin Park. People come up here and barbecue, people come up here and sleep, camp out."
He said the snakes in the tin were 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 a cave, 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 legacy of George W. Bush so it didn't matter which one you voted for.
The man said he's not hurting anyone, lives off of donations and recycling cans.
"What is my crime? You ask my good neighbors, most of them help me," he said 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.