PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - He made a promise and he plans to keep it. A Palm Beach Gardens man who was able to escape the turmoil in Egypt is now back in South Florida safe at home.
But he says he can't forget the images of protest and violence.
"I'm an American, I'm an American!" was the only phrase that kept 26-year-old Joshua Goodman from being thrown into jail.
"It was a mess. It was a zoo," said Goodman.
Goodman had been in Egypt just 3 days before the protest broke out. He was there visiting and waiting on word from universities on his Ph.D status.
"Up until Tuesday afternoon things were really just business as usual," he said.
But things quickly turned into a historical movement.
"I found the streets blocked off by police and there were 1 to 200 people, what began as 200 people was soon in the tens of thousands," said Goodman, "I knew that this was out of the ordinary public demonstrations are not permitted."
And are punishable by law.
Goodman says as things escalated thoughts of going home never crossed his mind. He grabbed his camera and began recording.
As the crowd spiraled out of control he says the police fired tear gas into the crowds and some demonstrators threw them back.
"Police began firing tear gas canisters into the crowd in an attempt to clear the area, as I turned to run away I felt two hands grab me," he said.
Those two hands were of the secret police ready to haul Goodman off to jail. After yelling he was an American they let him go.
"They let me go but my camera wasn't so lucky," he said.
For the rest of his time, Goodman stayed in his hotel and listened as gunfire could be heard outside his window.
But one night he says the shots came too close.
"The two people working at the hotel told me police had fired into the crowd. We heard a number of shots outside the hotel, we got down and in a corner," he said.
Goodman finally made contact with his parents who were vacationing in New Mexico. His parents purchased him a ticket and he made the long trip home.
"The airport was crowded over crowded," he said.
Goodman holds a masters from Tel Aviv University in Middle Eastern History.
He says another problem facing the city is the lack of resources coming in such as food for the people because deliveries are at a standstill.
Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Latest Local News Stories