Police Looking for Man Who Left Hospital After Police Chase, Crash

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - St. Louis police are searching for a man who was allegedly behind the wheel of a stolen car that got into a crash with a police cruiser.

The man was in SLU Hospital but slipped out of the hospital early Wednesday morning.
Police say they know who they`re looking for, but they have not released his name. He is described as a 27-year-old black man.

He was admitted to SLU Hospital after the crash and was in stable condition.  Police say they weren`t guarding him because he was a patient and not a prisoner.  The man was apparently was given a pain killer a little after 4:00 a.m. Wednesday and was then seen at a drinking fountain.

When the nurses were alerted and went to check on him, he was gone.  Police say he was last seen getting into a light colored car with a woman outside the hospital at Vista and Grand. Officials say he had changed out of his hospital gown and was wearing dark clothes.

Deputy Chief Larry O'Toole said Wednesday the department will review the decision not to post an officer at the hospital.

The original crash happened around 9:25 p.m. Tuesday night at Compton and Washington in Midtown.  Police say the officer had his lights and sirens on when he hit a white Volkswagen that was driving erratically.

Another officer had tried to pull over the Volkswagen moments earlier because it had no plates. Turns out the car was stolen and cops found a gun in it.  There was one officer in the cruiser and three people in the Volkswagen when the crash happened.

The officer and two people in the stolen car, including the 27-year-old who is now at large, went to hospitals.  A third person in the Volkswagen ran away from the crash scene.

The officer in the crash was responding to an officer in need of aid call at Whittier and Evans in North St. Louis.  That call came from a major who had been shot at by a suspect coming out of a gangway.

Police say 15 to 20 shots were fired at the major- he was not hit but a bullet pierced his driver`s side door.  Investigators took three people into custody in connection with that incident after they forced their way into a home.
The 35-year-old officer involved in the crash has been on the force for more than nine years.  He has been treated and released from a hospital.  A second person from the stolen Volkswagen who was also brought to SLU Hospital is listed in serious condition.