Family of naked man who died after jumping on cars says he was set-up

TAMPA, FL (WFLA) – Tampa Police continue their investigation into the bizarre incident that played out on Dale Mabry Highway Wednesday morning.

Nathan Howard Hamilton, 39, ran across the highway, jumped on a car, and then repeatedly bashed his head into the windshield.

Photo of Nathan Howard Hamilton, courtesy Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office
He was later taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital where he died.

Now, family members are speaking out exclusively to WFLA’s Paul Mueller.  They tell him that they believe he was on drugs but there’s more to the story than what we see on the video.

His family believes he was set-up to be robbed.  They acknowledge Hamilton had a drug problem, but believe that he was set-up to be robbed in the time leading up to him running across the busy road.

They believe he was partying with these people, and they gave him an extremely potent drug so they could rob him and that’s why, they claim, he ran.

Tampa Police are looking into this.

Experts agree with the family that based on Hamilton’s behavior, they say he was on drugs.

The Head of the Florida Poison Information Center in Tampa, Alfred Aleguas, said when he first heard the story, he had no doubts Hamilton was on drugs.

“No question,” he told News Channel 8.

Aleguas believes it was a class of drugs that includes flakka or bath salts.  These are recreational drugs, he said, that make people’s body temperature skyrocket so they take off their clothes.  They also become very aggressive and even feel super-human.

Aleguas says these reactions match up with the drugs’ side-effects.

“It’s very commonly used because it’s cheap,” he said.  “They buy it because it’s cheaper than marijuana but they never know what they’re getting.”

Meantime, Hamilton’s family is still in shock.

“I’m doing the best I can under the circumstances,” said Sean Hamilton, his brother who lives in California.

“He might have been, but he wasn’t high enough to go running and want to kill himself in front of a damn car.”

Toxicology results are expected to take four to six weeks. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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