As firefighters battled an enormous blaze at the historic University Club in Detroit this weekend, a wild-eyed man wearing only a black polo shirt emerged from the dark brush and began masturbating and barking like a dog.
After frenziedly satisfying himself in front of firefighters and onlookers at 4:30 a.m. Saturday, the lurker crawled on his hands and knees, with his tongue out, and gazed at flames that tore through the three-story Collegiate Gothic building at 1411 E. Jefferson. By the time police arrived, the bearded stranger had disappeared in the brush.
Video of the disturbing scene was posted on YouTube briefly Thursday before moderators removed it.
Authorities believe the two-alarm fire, which destroyed the abandoned University Club, was intentionally set.
The University Club served as a social gathering place for educated men, and eventually women.
The architecturally significant building, however, rapidly deteriorated under the current owner, who bought the building for $600,000 in April 2010 and left it open to scrappers, vandals and extreme weather.
He plans to replace the building with a liquor store or fast food joint. Click here for more on that story.
Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.