Naked, mentally ill patient escapes from hospital, is hiding in sewer

Published on Tuesday, 10 December 2013 15:30 - Written by BY KENNETH DEAN, kdean@tylerpaper.com

Police are searching an area near the hospitals on Beckham Avenue for a naked man who escaped police custody.

Don Martin, Tyler Police spokesman, said the man was taken to Mother Frances Hospital by Smith County Sheriff officials on a police officer's warrant.

POWs are used by police when a person is thought to be having mental issues so the person can be taken to a facility for help.

Martin said he did not know the specifics of the case, but said the man was able to elude deputies and hospital personnel and escape into the sewer system near Mother Frances.

Emergency radio traffic indicates vehicle traffic is being backed up as police, along with city engineers, look for the man in the sewer system and surrounding area.