Patient escapes from mental health hospital in Anoka, steals police car

A patient at the Anoka Metro Regional Treatment Center, a state-run center for the treatment of severe mental health issues, escaped Thursday and proceeded to steal a police squad car before being apprehended by authorities. 

According to the criminal complaint, officers were called to the center on Jan. 30 at approximately 4:24 p.m. on a report that a patient was "eloping" from the facility. The patient allegedly climbed a fence to escape. 

Officers responding to the area found the patient walking on a sidewalk nearby. When the patient saw the squad car, he took off running. 

Anoka police no longer providing security at mental health hospital

An officer located the patient in a backyard, exited the squad car and pursued the patient on foot. The patient then entered the passenger side of the squad car and stole the vehicle, according to the complaint. 

The patient proceeded to drive the car a few blocks before parking it in the middle of the road and leaving the car. 

After exiting the squad car, the patient followed police commands and laid down in a front yard before being taken into custody.