Man charged in stolen vehicle rampage ending in flood at Burnaby Hospital
Officials in Metro Vancouver had their hands full early Sunday morning dealing with a man who went on a bizarre rampage damaging several police cruisers and causing a flood at the Burnaby Hospital, according to Mounties.
38-year-old Joseph Field has now been charged with two counts of possession of stolen property and mischief over $5,000.
The dramatic incident began in Surrey when Field stole a Jeep and drove it to Lougheed Mall in Burnaby at around 1 a.m., officers said.
The man then stole a five-ton rental truck and began ramming it into, and eventually driving over, six unoccupied cruisers and two vans parked outside the RCMP’s community police office.
Police said the suspect hit a pole and the Jeep before getting out of the truck and attempting to walk away.
He was taken into custody shortly after, but the damage didn’t end with his arrest.
Mounties took the man to Burnaby Hospital for a medical and psychiatric exam where he ripped part of a sprinkler out of the ceiling, causing a flood that shut down the emergency room.
18 beds were affected by the flood. At its height, water in the acute care area of the ER reached four inches.
Several patients had to be moved to a different area of the hospital, but no one was harmed, according to Fraser Health.
The emergency room re-opened at around 9 a.m., but officials advised patients to go to another hospital if possible. BC Ambulance Service continues to divert potential patients to other area hospitals.
Nine of the 18 beds that were affected should be operational again later this afternoon.
Mounties are also looking into whether an incident at a Surrey health facility Friday is connected. In that incident, a man became agitated, ripped out a sprinkler and drove away in a Jeep.
That flooding caused an undetermined amount of damage to the facility.
Mounties said drugs and alcohol do not appear to be factors, but Field is well known to them with a significant criminal history.
While no one was injured during the alleged crimes, officials are estimating the incidents caused several hundred thousand dollars worth of damage.
RCMP are also looking into the possibility that an incident at the Quibble Creek Sobering and Assessment Centre in Surrey on Saturday, could be related.
Police say a man became agitated while at the facility, broke off a sprinkler head inside the building and then drove off in a Jeep Cherokee.
The water caused significant damage to the building and its contents, and the facility remains closed until further assessment of the damage can be done.