Hospital patient flees police, steals truck - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Hospital patient flees police, steals truck

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A Chattanooga man really wanted to avoid the police, so much so, he ran out of a North Georgia hospital, stole a truck and led officers on chase. It's an unusual story that ended with the man being tased, slapped with more charges and put behind bars.

Fort Oglethorpe Police responded to Hutcheson Medical Center Monday night after receiving a tip that a Chattanooga man wanted for aggravated assault was being treated there. But, they soon found out, the suspect wasn't going down that easy.

"Mr. Patterson knew he was in trouble and was going to do anything he could to get out of this area," Fort Oglethorpe Police Chief David Eubanks said.

31 year old John Patterson has had multiple aggravated assault convictions and has had an outstanding warrant for another aggravated assault charge in Hamilton County since January. The hospital bed at Hutcheson couldn't hold him Monday night.

"Our officer responded and just as he arrived, he was informed Mr. Patterson had left wearing only a hospital gown," Chief Eubanks said.

They say he ran barefoot into the hospital parking lot where another officer was patrolling.

"Mr. Patterson had gotten into a vehicle to hide and while he was in there, noticed a kill switch on the ignition and decided he would start the vehicle up," Chief Eubanks said.

The truck's owner came out and tried to stop him, but police saw him take off down Thomas Road.

"Anytime you get involved in a pursuit everyone involved is in danger. The general public is in danger and innocent people are in danger," Chief Eubanks said.

But this chase ended quickly. Officers say he panicked and went off Park City Road and got stuck in the mud. Officers say he still wouldn't give up and tried getting unstuck, but a Catoosa County deputy tased him.

"You never know what to expect when you go to serve a warrant or go talk to somebody you believe has a warrant. Sometimes it's fight and sometimes it's flight," Chief Eubanks said.

John Patterson is in the Walker County Jail charged with auto theft and fleeing from police.

Channel 3 spoke with the owner of the stolen truck, which he has gotten back. He said it's a little torn up, but repairable.

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