LAURINBURG — Following a 30-minute search that began at roughly 8 a.m. today, Laurinburg police captured an escaped Scotland Memorial Hospital patient who had fled into a nearby cornfield.
The 17-year-old, who was in the hospital under “involuntary commitment,” was returned to the hospital, Police Chief Darwin Williams said, and may be further restrained following Friday’s escape.
“This ended well,” he said.”No one got hurt — he wasn’t injured and no officers were injured.”
About eight officers responded to the call made by the hospital’s security early Friday morning. Officers surrounded the cornfield, on the corner of Johns Road and Lauchwood Drive, and watched for movement in the rows while others, including a K-9 officer, searched through the field for the patient, still clad in his hospital gown.
After several sightings, Animal Control officer David Hardy and K-9 officer Craig Wilkerson captured the patient in some woods on the edge of the field, near U.S. 74.
Williams said this isn’t the first time the patient has escaped, but police have never before had to track him through a cornfield.