Escaped Florida hospital patient accused of stealing, crashing police car

ORLANDO, Fla. — A judge granted bail to a 30-year-old man who allegedly stole an Orlando police cruiser after escaping Florida Hospital South late Friday.

Alexander Gonzales was granted more than $3,000 bail for charges of grand theft of a motor vehicle, criminal mischief, resisting officer without violence and driving while license suspended.

Gonzales crashed the stolen police car in the College Park neighborhood early Saturday and refused to come out of the wrecked cruiser for hours, leading to a SWAT response, the Orlando Police Department said.

Police said they were called shortly before 11:30 p.m. Friday about a suspicious person at Princeton Street and North Orange Avenue after security officers reported a man had escaped from Florida Hospital South nearby.

"When officer made contact with the subject, he jumped in OPD vehicle and took off, crashing a short time later," the agency said in a tweet.

Gonzales crashed at Elizabeth Avenue and West Princeton Street near Princeton Elementary School, flipping the cruiser onto the driver's side, investigators said.

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Gonzales remained inside the car, repeatedly refusing to come out, according to police.

Despite the vehicle crash, the weapons in the car remained secured and locked up, police said.

OPD SWAT, Crisis Negotiation Team and Emergency Services Unit were called out. SWAT members ultimately removed the suspect from the vehicle and he was placed under arrest at about 2:30 a.m.

No one was injured, police said.

According to the arrest report, Gonzales, who lives in Largo, Florida, had been admitted as a patient to Florida Hospital South earlier Friday before fleeing the hospital.