'500-year-old vampire' charged after biting woman

Last updated 11:36 18/08/2011

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A US teenager claiming to be a 500-year-old vampire with a "need to feed" has been charged after allegedly breaking into a woman's home before biting and hitting her.

Lyle Monroe Bensley, 19, allegedly broke into the woman's apartment in Galveston, Texas dressed in only boxer shorts, making growling and hissing noises while bitting and hitting her in her bed, the Houston Chronicle said.

He dragged her out of the apartment but she managed to break free and run away, police spokesman Captain Jeff Heyse told the Chronicle.

When police arrived at the apartment, they saw Mr Bensley hissing and growling in the car park.

He managed to climb two fences before he was arrested, and yelled that he "didn't want to have to feed on humans", Captain Heyse told US broadcaster ABC.

"I've dealt with some really strange people. You know, guys who think they're Jesus and that. But I've never seen anything like this."

Another police officer, Daniel Erickson, told the Chronicle: "He was begging us to restrain him because he didn't want to kill us. He said he needed to feed."

"I'm a vampire, and I've been alive for over 500 years," Mr Bensley reportedly said to Mr Erickson.

A US clinical psychologist told the ABC popular films and television shows such as the Twilight series and True Blood could inspire people with mental illnesses.

"Vampires are very prominent in our society right now from a pop culture standpoint. And that information can feed into hallucination," Associate Professor Josh Klapow of the University of Alabama at Birmingham said.

"If you look at the content of these sorts of hallucinations, even though the characters are slightly different, the themes tend to be similar. The richer the content, the more prevalent it is, and the more nuances there are to it, the easier it becomes to run with."

Mr Erickson said paramedics did not find Mr Bensley to be under the influence of drugs.

Mr Bensley was held on a $US40,000 ($38,000) bond and was awaiting a mental health examination.

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- Sydney Morning Herald

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