A schizophrenic man transported in an ambulance escaped on Monday morning — climbing a 30-foot-tall excavator on the Palmetto Expressway before removing his clothes and claiming to be a serial killer, police say.
Members of the Hialeah Police Crisis Negotiation Team and SWAT, along with Hialeah Fire Rescue and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, responded to the scene near Northwest 122nd Street. They found a man threatening to “kill everyone” and appearing to be touching his genital area, according to an incident report obtained by the Miami Herald.
The 29-year-old man, who lives in Miami Gardens, remained atop the construction vehicle for about an hour before climbing down.
The man, whose name was removed from the report, escaped the ambulance near the intersection of West 21st Court and West 68th Street before heading to the highway, according to the report.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Miami Herald
Miami-Dade police had previously placed him under an involuntary mental health evaluation, police said.
Video obtained by the Herald shows the man standing naked atop the excavator surrounded by police officers, firefighters and passing drivers. He was hallucinating and said his “worlds were merging and it was going to end,” the report states.
An ambulance driver had picked him up Monday morning from Citrus Mental Health, and was taking him to Palmetto General Hospital when he escaped around 7:33 a.m., according to the report.
The man, listed in the report as having schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, became irate and said he wanted police to kill him, officers said. He broke the ambulance's rear window and fled the scene.
The man was eventually handcuffed and taken to the Jackson Memorial Crisis Unit for an involuntary mental evaluation, but not before he tried again to escape custody.
At 9:23 a.m., while handcuffed in the back of a Hialeah police vehicle, the man removed his seat belt, brought his hands forward and attempted to pull down an open window and kick another, according to the report. He also stated he would “buy hollow point ammunition to kill cops.”