Family of man who fled naked from alleged bank robbery explains actions

MIAMI (WSVN) - A South Florida family is speaking out weeks after their loved one was arrested for allegedly robbing a bank and running through the streets naked.

Twenty-five-year-old Alexander Sperber could be seen running up and down Las Olas Boulevard without any clothes on July 25. According to Sperber’s family, he’s had mental health issues his entire life, which have sadly led him to a jail cell at the federal courthouse in Downtown Miami.

The subject’s sister, Adriana, read a post from her Facebook page about her older brother. “All my life, people never hesitated to tell me or to make me feel as if my brother was different,” she said. “I’m one of the few people who actually had the opportunity to see him as more than just different.”

To Adriana, Alex is the kind, nearly genius-level smart big brother. She said, when she was younger, her mother told her that Alex was on the autism spectrum.

“I never really thought … just that maybe he would talk a little bit slower, and he did things a little bit slower,” Adriana said.

She said that her brother was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at age 4. Alex was able to graduate from Fort Lauderdale’s Pine Crest School and go to college despite stints in and out of mental health facilities … until July 25.

Bystanders who saw Alex running in the street naked laughed and recorded him after police said he robbed a nearby bank.

“We were all looking for him,” Adriana said. “My thought was that he had committed suicide. I had mentally prepared myself for that.”

When she saw the video of her brother running along Las Olas Boulevard, Adriana said, “I was hysterically crying. I definitely needed some time before doing anything productive with this.”

Now, she said she wanted to talk about her brother and his struggles, which was always a secret until they couldn’t be any longer. “I’ve seen the nastiest, most awful comments,” she said. “People don’t act this way if they’re normal, if they have a good head on their shoulders, so they’re either on drugs or they have something wrong with them, so we need to show compassion.”

Adriana hoped that by speaking out, she could help explain her brother’s actions, as well as others with mental health issues.

Alex is facing some serious charges including bank robbery and extortion. His next hearing is scheduled for sometime in September.

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