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Suspect escapes at hospital, steals truck

Suspect was accused of drunk driving
March 8, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
A suspected drunken driver who crashed a car in La Mesa Saturday was arrested, but escaped from a hospital and stole a delivery truck to get home, where he was again arrested, police said. Officers were called to an crash in the parking lot behind the 24 Hour Fitness at 5601 Grossmont Center Dr. at around 1:46 a.m. Saturday, said the La Mesa Police Department.

Police determined that a man had been driving recklessly in the parking lot and lost control of his vehicle, which plunged down a steep embankment before rolling over and coming to rest near the San Diego Trolley tracks, the release said.

The alleged driver, 40-year-old Eric Raymond Martin of Lemon Grove, was arrested at the scene for suspected drunken driving. He suffered injuries in the crash and was taken to UCSD Medical Center.

While being treated, Martin managed to sneak out a rear door, got into a delivery truck outside with keys in the ignition and started to drive off, according to police.

When the delivery driver heard the engine start, he ran outside and attempted to open the door and stop Martin from taking his vehicle, but he was not successful and Martin got away, police said.

Police went to Martin's listed residence to conduct an investigation and Martin arrived at his home shortly after officers arrived, the press release said.

The stolen truck was recovered nearby and returned to the delivery driver.

Martin was booked into the San Diego County Jail on charges of drunken driving, carjacking and escape.


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