The case against a Mankato man who escaped from a state-operated psychiatric hospital in Anoka and stole a police squad car has been dismissed.

Mattu K. Chuol, 24, had been charged with felony vehicle theft in connection with an incident on Jan. 30, 2020, at the Anoka-Metro Regional Treatment Center. But Assistant Anoka County Attorney Andrea Sampson dropped the charges.

"The State dismisses the complaint in the interests of justice," she wrote in a brief filed April 7 in Anoka County District Court.

Chuol walked away from the state's largest psychiatric hospital in the 3300 block of 7th Avenue about 4:20 p.m. without permission. As police pursued him, Chuol entered one of the idling squads and drove off. He stopped a few blocks later, got out of the car and was arrested, according to a criminal complaint.

Chuol had earlier been found mentally incompetent to stand trial after being charged with burglary, threatening violence and obstructing a police officer in Blue Earth County. The cases were suspended until Chuol "is restored to competency to proceed," court documents said.

Tim Harlow