A Largo man was arrested early Saturday morning after he stole a police car, drove it into a utility pole and flipped it on its side late Friday night, Orlando police said.
Alexander James Gonzales, 30, was charged with grand theft of a motor vehicle, resisting an officer without violence, criminal mischief and driving with a suspended license.
Police responded to a call at about 11:35 p.m. Friday of a man running into traffic near the intersection of Princeton Street and Orange Avenue.
The intersection is about a quarter mile south of Florida Hospital, just west of Orlando Science Center.
That man, identified Saturday morning as Gonzales, was dressed in a blue hospital gown. Police say Gonzales had been a patient at a Florida Hospital location earlier Friday.
According to an arrest affidavit, Gonzales was acting “frantic and paranoid” and asked police “Why haven’t you called for backup?”
Gonzales walked toward the police vehicle, opened the door and got in, driving west on Princeton Street with the siren on and lights flashing, the affidavit said.
The affidavit continued: “Mr. Gonzales Jr. was driving at a high rate of speed well in excess of the speed limit while still having the emergency red/blue police lights and sirens activated.”
After driving about three-quarters of a mile, he lost control of the vehicle near the intersection of Princeton Street and Elizabeth Avenue, hit a utility pole and flipped the car onto its driver’s side, the affidavit said.
The man barricaded himself for about three hours before he was taken into custody just before 2:15 a.m.
The SWAT team and armored vehicles responded to the scene.