16 May 2011

Man found hiding in hospital ceiling arrested

7:09 pm on 16 May 2011

A naked man found hiding in the ceiling of Auckland City Hospital has been arrested and faces several charges.

Specialist search teams using thermal imaging equipment and the Fire Service began looking for the man about 8.30am on Monday and eventually found him in the ceiling next to the Emergency Department about 3.30pm.


West Auckland police say officers were in the process of arresting the 25-year-old on Sunday for failing to appear on a charge of driving while disqualified, when he tried to evade them by jumping from a balcony.

The man injured an ankle and was taken to hospital by officers about 2.30am on Monday.

Police say the man was being guarded but went missing after he went to take a shower later on Monday morning. At some stage, he left his hospital gown behind.

A spokesperson for Auckland City Hospital, Mark Fenwick, says the man broke through ceiling panels.

Mr Fenwick says the hospital went into emergency mode and people with critical injuries were sent to another hospital.

Forty-four patients from the Emergency Department were moved into the hospital's atrium and corridors and treated there while the search was being conducted.

The man is to appear in Waitakere District Court on Tuesday.