An escapee from a state-operated psychiatric hospital stole the police squad car of the Anoka officer who was in pursuit before quickly surrendering, authorities said in a criminal complaint.
Mattu K. Chuol, 23, of Mankato, was charged in Anoka County District Court with felony vehicle theft in connection with the brief incident Thursday. Chuol is back in custody ahead of a Feb. 24 court appearance.
According to the complaint:
Police were called about 4:20 p.m. to the Anoka Metro Regional Treatment Center in the 3300 block of 7th Avenue concerning a patient who left the facility without permission.
Officers arrived and saw Chuol walking on a sidewalk. He spotted the squad car and began running.
Officer Mary Wellman got out of her squad car and pursued Chuol, and that's when he got in the vehicle and drove off.
A few blocks later, he stopped in the middle of the road and got out. Officers yelled at him to stop, and he lay down in a front yard and was apprehended.
In December, Chuol was found mentally incompetent to stand trial in connection with two cases out of Blue Earth County, one involving burglary and another for threatening violence and obstructing a police officer.