Larry Nystrom seemed disconnected and stressed out. But the first words out of his mouth were of pure euphoria.
“I had fun on the joyride, and I even turned on the lights and sirens,” he told a police officer.
For the second time in a week, a rookie Miami cop had his patrol vehicle stolen. But this time it didn’t lead to a cross-county chase, shootouts with cops, and two innocent drivers wounded.
This time, according to police, Nystrom, 51, hopped into a police car parked outside of the crisis center at Jackson Memorial Hospital, and began a trek to — well, police aren’t exactly sure. They do know where it ended: Back at the hospital, less than an hour later.
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Nystrom’s arrest affidavit says a Miami cop noticed him pull the patrol car up to the entrance of the center, at Northwest 16th Street and 12th Avenue, a little after 8 p.m. on Tuesday. When he stepped out of the vehicle, the officer said Nystrom “appeared to be in a state of mental distress, shaky hands, a blank stare, and refused to identify himself.”
He was wearing a T-shirt, blue jeans and sandals. When the cop started asking questions, Nystrom jumped back into the cop car.
This time, he obeyed an order to get out. He was handcuffed, arrested, and charged with grand theft auto. Then he told the cop what a great time he had.
While Nystrom made his initial getaway, the officer assigned to the patrol car was inside the hospital writing up a report. A police spokesman wasn’t sure why he left the keys in the vehicle. Police hadn’t released the officer’s name Wednesday afternoon.
Nystrom, though, is a fairly popular and well-known visitor to Jackson’s crisis center, police said. A Jackson representative cited patient confidentiality and declined to comment on Nystrom or his behavior.
Last week, another Miami rookie cop had his car stolen as he was writing up a routine incident report. Officer Rosny Obas was at a taxicab company on Northwest 79th Street and Second Avenue when he spotted a person of interest driving a cab, and gave chase.
The next few minutes, however, were anything but routine for Obas. When he stopped the cab, Obas was met with bursts of gunfire from 21-year-old Frantzy Armand’s assault rifle. Outgunned, Obas dove for cover. He was whisked to safety by an alert driver who rolled his van between Obas and Armand, and dragged the rookie to safety. An innocent and unaware driver was struck by a bullet.
But that didn’t stop Armand, who jumped into the abandoned patrol car and fled north. In North Miami, he shot another unsuspecting driver. The chaos finally ended a few minutes later, after he lost a gun battle with a North Miami cop in the Sans Souci neighborhood east of Biscayne Boulevard. So far, Armand has been charged with two counts of attempted murder, one on a law enforcement officer.