Charges: Psychiatric patient escapes Anoka facility, steals police officer's car

A psychiatric patient from Anoka Metro Regional Treatment Center, the state’s largest psychiatric hospital, escaped the facility and stole a police officer's squad car, according to a criminal complaint filed in Anoka County District Court.

According to the charges, on Thursday around 4:30 p.m., officers responded to a report of a 23-year-old Mankato man escaping by climbing the fence. When police arrived they found the patient walking on sidewalk, but when he saw the squad car, he ran off. An officer got out her car and began to follow him on foot. The man eventually got in the officer's squad and drove off, but stopped a few blocks away in the middle of the road.

By then, other officers had responded. When the man got out of the car, police took him into custody.

The man has been charged with one count of theft.