An emergency room patient at the Brainerd hospital allegedly stole an unattended medical van from the parking lot Tuesday, Oct. 30, eventually prompting police to subdue him with a stun gun.

An employee of Essentia Health-St. Joseph's Medical Center reported the vehicle theft to the Brainerd Police Department at 2:40 p.m. According to police, emergency department staff attempted to convince the suspect, a 50-year-old man from Breezy Point, to return to the hospital, but instead the man entered a Medi-Van parked nearby.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

While exiting the parking lot, the man apparently struck a dumpster with the van and went on to drive through the heart of downtown Brainerd. Police reported Crow Wing County dispatchers received a number of calls reporting the erratic path of the Medi-Van, which according to a witness included switching lanes and driving on sidewalks.

Officers from Brainerd and Baxter followed the suspected path of the vehicle and caught up with the suspect on the 500 block of Maple Street. The suspect then attempted to flee on foot and police struck the man with a stun gun. The man was apprehended and transported to Crow Wing County Jail, where he awaits formal charges.

According to police, a hospital staff member suffered minor injuries as the man left, and the Medi-Van sustained damage. The manner in which the man arrived at the hospital was unknown, although police confirmed he was not transported there by law enforcement.