Erick Brown, aka 'the goat man,' takes therapy goat on Detroit bus, gets kicked off

Let nothing come between a man and his goat.

Or in this case, his therapy goat.

Erick Brown, 31, has spent years traveling the country with his best friend, a goat named Deer. He settled in Detroit about six months ago, and people know him from seeing him walking around with his four-legged pal.

But when he boarded a downtown bus Sunday night, accompanied by Deer, he caused a bit of a stir and was thrown off by the driver, who said a goat was not a therapy animal.

Brown told that he no had no problem taking a bus to the city center. The driver even knew who he was. "You're the goat guy," she told him.

The trip home was an entirely different matter. "Everyone was freaking out," Brown said, when he and Deer boarded the northbound bus.

"The goat was just standing there. When I'm in public, he behaves himself."

His fellow passengers did not agree. Cellphone footage captured riders yelling at Brown to get off, as people left in disgust.

"I was on a Woodward bus northbound while looking in my camera to see if anything was in my beard. I heard another passenger yell out, 'Is that a goat?' Already with camera in hand, I started filming," read one post from a rider who posted the video to social media.

Of course, it went viral.

It took him four hours to walk home, he said. He stopped to buy a sweater because it was freezing cold.

Brown suffered a traumatic brain injury as a child when he fell down the stairs of his home and landed on his head. He has trouble communicating and sometimes comes across as awkward. But he's become a folk hero of sorts for his travels across the country with his goat in tow.

He's been featured in media coverage and has his own website, the Rock Club Foundation, which he hopes will one day fund a sustainable community of "artists, dreamers, musicians teachers, students, gardeners and loving people."

He says his group's headquarters is tumble-down Detroit house he bought in foreclosure for $1,350. It has no heat or water, but he and Deer find shelter there. Brown has big dreams for the home, which has peeling walls, holes in the roof and needs a monumental dose of TLC.

His experiences in the Motor City have included being severley beaten by two people he allowed to crash in his house for awhile. He credits Deer with saving his life. "When I was escaping, they didn't come after me," he said. Some "people are afraid of the goat. They don't know what he'll do," Brown said.

"I meet so many good people who aren't afraid of the goat," he said. He has a theory about what that means. Only "bad people are afraid of the goat," he said.

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