Sister of naked bank robbery suspect says brother suffers from mental illness

Suspect caught on camera tossing money while running naked through street

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – A South Florida woman is trying to set the record straight after her brother was accused of robbing a bank last month and then running naked through the streets of Fort Lauderdale while throwing the stolen money.

Adrianna Sperber, 21, told Local 10 News that her brother, Alexander Sperber, 25, is an honor student at Florida Atlantic University.

"It's obviously been so hard on me and my family," she said from her Coral Gables home.

Alexander Sperber was captured on cellphone video July 25, running naked down a street near Las Olas Boulevard, just minutes after the FBI said he robbed a bank in the area.

"I was just replying back to everybody's comments (online) and getting in fights with a lot of people, being like, 'That's my brother. He suffers from mental illnesses,' and I guess it's kind of to share knowledge of mental illnesses so he's not just seen as the naked bank robber in Fort Lauderdale," Adrianna Sperber said. 

According to an arrest affidavit, Alexander Sperber told FBI agents that he woke up that morning and decided to rob a bank.

They said he planned to get away by running naked down the street while throwing stolen money in an effort to launch his career as a comedian.

But the suspect's sister said her brother is autistic and bipolar.

Adrianna Sperber said her brother was in a mental health facility just a week before the robbery.

Text messages received by Adrianna Sperber show that her brother attempted to drown himself at the facility by sticking his head in a toilet.

As Alexander Sperber sits in federal custody, his family is trying their best to stay strong and are working hard to show why the man is the video is more than a bank robbery suspect.

"He's not a criminal. Like, he's not a violent person," Adrianna Sperber said. "He's no threat to the community."