'Duct tape dude' frightening joggers in Clear Lake

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The Middlebrook neighborhood in Clear Lake is filled with nice established homes, mature trees, and a shaded jogging and biking path along a greenbelt.

It is also a place where neighbors are worried about a man who puts strips of duct tape on his face, perhaps to disguise his identity, and follows people.

"We refer to him as 'duct tape dude,'" said longtime resident Linda Sansing. "When you start chasing the residents and you're wearing duct tape on your face, it just sounds like something is not right."

Sansing hasn't seen the man. But she has kept up with the neighborhood-wide concern online and has read a report of one woman writing that she was briefly chased.

On the neighborhood message board, there are posts that read, "He wears duct tape on his face and acts very strange," and "He wore duct tape with sunglasses on his face."

Another poster wrote, "I've seen him too. It's small patches. Like one on his forehead and one on each side of his face."

There are more than 100 comments in the thread from people who are aware or concerned. Houston police are now involved.

"It's quite unusual to be staring at people walking and jogging, and wearing that kind of stuff on your face," said Houston Police Clear Lake Division Sergeant Paulino Lozano. "It's a little frustrating because the citizens want more and expect more, but there's only so much that we can do. So we definitely want to get ahead of it and see what his intentions are."

They tell us they have a case number and they're working it. But to this point, the duct tape dude and his seemingly odd behavior haven't broken any laws. Yet.

They suggest residents not walk at night or stay in well-lit areas. If possible, carry a whistle or pepper spray. Be alert.

"A lot of people like wearing those ear buds and not pay attention while they're jogging," said Sergeant Lozano. "Just be aware of what's going on. Try to walk in pairs or in groups."

Residents like Sansing said they will stay vigilant.

"It is concerning, because could it escalate?" she said. "You don't know with something like that because it is so unique that what could happen next."

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