A homeless man is accused of roaming around a Texas neighborhood with a chainsaw and chopping down trees. Residents are concerned for their safety and want something to be done, according to FOX 7.
This is all going down in Austin's Westlake Neighborhood. Nearby is a "tent city," where one man remains. He's seen walking around with a chainsaw. "After a week, he had a pole saw," resident John James Pepper told the news outlet. Last month, resident Christina Coats-Gatz said she found a homeless man near her home who accused her of stealing his tools.
"I'm like, 'Hold on, I'm not stealing your tools. You're not supposed to be here. The city has cleared everybody out, you can't build latrines,'" Coats-Gatz said. "He's like, 'I'm not building a latrine,' something about Satan is in the trees. What's wrong with you? Are you a Satanist?"
After calling the Austin Police Department, Coats-Gatz said the man didn't leave. "What if next week God tells him to burn the whole forest? There’s people all up and down here, there’s a retirement community, this is a danger back here," she said. Pepper also weighed in on the man's activity, saying he started building "blair witch instillations that are very creepy."
"It’s really odd times and just chopping and a saw going off, and then you’ll wake up or come back home and then there’s just more of these weird monolithic structures just stacks of what I believe to be Greenbelt trees," Pepper said.
Rami Zawaideh has been charged with criminal trespassing around the Williamson Creek Greenbelt five times, but the County Attorney has rejected prosecuting him three times. A case in Rami's name is currently active and a pretrial hearing is set for November 29, FOX 7 reports.