Fugitive Democratic donor Norman Hsu's behavior on a train he hopped last week resembled a drug smuggler or someone having a heart attack, fellow passengers on the train reported.
Hsu, 56, was in good condition in a Colorado hospital on Sunday, but was not faring so well last Thursday when paramedics caught up with him after being called to the Grand Junction, Colo., station.
The apparel executive, who has bundled $1 million for Democratic candidates since 2004, had bought an Amtrak ticket to Denver from the San Francisco Bay area, where he had arrived Wednesday but failed to show in a Redwood City courtroom in connection with a sentencing hearing 15 years in the making.
Aboard the California Zephyr, Hsu stripped off his shirt and shoes, appeared disoriented and had trouble opening a door, among other bizarre behaviors, witnesses on the train told The San Francisco Chronicle.
Hsu roamed a train car "without shoes and no shirt. ... I thought he had a suitcase full of crack or meth," Alberto Dee, 21, told the newspaper. He said Hsu "freaked out" when Amtrak employees approached him.
"We just figured he had a heart attack or something," said Cheryl Roberts, 52, a nurse who was traveling with her husband and saw Hsu sitting on a stretcher at the station.
Hsu's lawyer Jim Brosnahan said his client has been under tremendous strain in the past week, after it was revealed that the big-time political money man was wanted for not appearing at a 1992 sentencing hearing in connection with a grand theft conviction for defrauding investors of $1 million.