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Ind. State Police Nab I-65 ‘Samurai’

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Byron Andre Womack

Byron Andre Womack is charged with waving a samurai sword on I-65 in Indiana, then declaring that he was “cuckoo for cocoa puffs.” (Credit: Indiana State Police)

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UPDATED 09/06/11 10:14 a.m.

MERRILLVILLE, Ind. (CBS) – Call it the showdown with the samurai.

Indiana State Police say they encountered a shirtless man wielding a 35-inch-long samurai sword on the inner shoulder of Interstate 65 on Sunday afternoon near U.S. Highway 30. Police say farther north, a Toyota had been abandoned in the middle lane of southbound I-65 at 61st Avenue.

The swordsman, who wore plaid knee-length shorts, was marching “like a drum major, holding the sword, moving it up and down in rhythm with his marching cadence,” the state police said in a news release.

When a state trooper approached him, the man swung the sword “in a defensive manner,” police said.

The swordsman, dressed only in plaid shorts and slip-on shoes, then tried to gain entrance to a 2010 Chevrolet sport-utility vehicle that was pulled over on the expressway to avoid a responding Merrillville police car, state police told the Sun-Times Media wire.

Finally, the suspect was handcuffed by Merrillville police, who ordered him to the ground at gunpoint.

At the Lake County, Ind. jail, the offender, Byron Andre Womack, 43, of Cicero, announced that he was “Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs,” state police said.

He was charged with attempted carjacking, resisting law enforcement and possession of marijuana.

Authorities say Womack gave several different names before his identity was verified.

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